America’s combat mission in Afghanistan “came to a responsible end” a year and a half ago, Obama said. Forces there are now focused on “two narrow missions”: training and terrorism prevention. “But even these narrow missions continue to be dangerous.”
The US will leave 8,400 troops through the end of the Obama administration, the president announced. Obama had planned to drop troop levels from 9,800 to 5,500 troops by the end of 2016. But the increase of Taliban attacks have intensified calls to leave more troops there.
The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Obama said. The Afghan military still needs our help, the president added.
“It is in our national security interest, esp after all the blood and treasure we’ve invested over the years, that we give our partners in afghan the best chance to succeed.”