“Assuming a BSA is signed, at the beginning of 2015, we will have 9,800 U.S. service members in different parts of the country, together with our NATO allies and other partners,” the statement said.
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President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the U.S. combat mission ends in 2014, a senior administration official said.
The U.S. will continue drawing down that number to roughly half by the end of 2015, the official said in a statement. Troops would be stationed at bases in Kabul and Bagram Airfield.
“And one year later, by the end of 2016, we will draw down to a normal embassy presence with a security assistance office in Kabul, as we have done in Iraq,” the official said.
The statement said the continued efforts in 2015 and 2016 would be “narrow missions,” including training Afghan forces and supporting “operations against the remnants of al Qaeda.”
The announcement ends months of speculation over how many troops the president would authorize to continue training Afghan forces and conducting a counterterrorism mission there after 2014.