US Slows Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan

About 10,000 will be there at year's end, not 5,500
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2015 2:22 PM CDT
US Slows Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani meets with President Obama in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Afghan's new president gets along much better with the US than did predecessor Hamid Karzai, and today that paid off for him: President Obama agreed to Ashraf Ghani's request to slow down the withdrawal of US troops from the country. Under the original plan, nearly half of the approximately 10,000 American troops in the country were going to come home by the end of this year. Now, however, they'll stay through all of 2015, reports the AP.

Obama still intends to have all but 1,000 or so troops out by the time he leaves office in January 2017, but now most of those troops will leave in 2016, reports the New York Times. The "specific trajectory" of the drawdown will be announced later this year, said a joint US-Afghan statement. Ghani addresses a joint meeting of Congress tomorrow and will be at the UN on Thursday. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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