(APNEWS.MYWAY) — WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday the U.S. will keep its current complement of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015, instead of cutting the number by about half as originally planned.
In a joint statement with Afghanistan issued during a day of meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the White House said the size of the U.S. troop presence for 2016 will be decided later this year.
Ghani had asked Obama to slow the withdrawal of U.S. troops from his country because Afghan security forces are bracing for a tough spring fighting season and are also contending with Islamic State fighters looking to recruit on their soil.
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The original plan was to cut the 9,800 troops to 5,500 by the end of this year.