Obama to leave more troops than planned in Afghanistan

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U.S. troops on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he will leave behind more troops in Afghanistan than originally planned.

Speaking from the White House, Obama said he would draw down troops to 8,400 by the end of his administration. That’s up from the initial target of 5,500. The current level of troops in Afghanistan is 9,800.

“The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Obama said. “I strongly believe it is in our national security interest … that we give our Afghan partners the best opportunities to succeed.”

He was joined by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.

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