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Obama Alters Timeline for U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 03:07 PM

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will keep 9,800 military personnel in Afghanistan through the end of 2015 and decide later this year whether to continue withdrawing forces to meet President Barack Obama’s original timetable.

Obama and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed after a meeting at the White House that U.S. troop levels will remain static through the end of the year rather than fall to 5,500 military personnel, according to a White House statement.

Obama’s timetable has called for leaving only about 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, mostly to protect U.S. facilities, by the time the president leaves office in January 2017. The pace of future withdrawals will be part of discussions between the U.S. and Ghani’s government.

“This flexibility reflects the re-invigorated partnership with Afghanistan, which is aimed at making Afghanistan secure and preventing it from being used to launch terrorist attacks,” according to a joint statement released by the White House before the two leaders addressed a news conference.

--With assistance from Justin Sink and David J. Lynch in Washington.

To contact the reporters on this story: Toluse Olorunnipa in Washington at tolorunnipa@bloomberg.net; Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net Alex Wayne

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
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Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 03:07 PM
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