David S. Cloud
LA Times
May 15, 2011

The decision is intended to help curb the cost of the Afghan war as training and salaries are paid by the U.S. But experts say it may necessitate a smaller initial reduction in U.S. troops set to begin in July.

After months of internal deliberations, the Obama administration has decided to limit the expansion of Afghanistan’s army and police forces over the next 18 months, largely to hold down the costs of training, equipping and paying them.

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The White House decision, which has not been announced, also appears to signal that President Obama may approve only a modest reduction of U.S. troops in Afghanistan this summer, U.S. officials said Thursday.

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