WASHINGTON (AP) – In a potential major shift in policy, U.S. military leaders want to keep at least a few thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.
The commanders point to a fragile security situation highlighted by the Taliban’s capture of the northern city of Kunduz this week.
Keeping any substantial number of troops in Afghanistan beyond next year would mark a sharp departure from President Barack Obama’s existing plan, which would leave only an embassy-based security cooperation presence of about 1,000 military personnel by the end of next year.
Obama has made it a centerpiece of his second-term foreign policy message that he would end the U.S. war in Afghanistan and get American troops out before he left office.
About 9,800 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan now.
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