NATO to maintain 12000 troops in Afghanistan

There would be no more Americans in combat in Afghanistan in 2014, he said, vowing to match what he'd already accomplished in Iraq. "So our message is clear: Afghanistan does not stand alone; and we are committed for the long haul", he added.

At the time, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said that Afghanistan was "no longer a safe haven for terrorists". In view of the challenging security situation and the continuing need for counter-terrorist capacity, Norway will continue its tactical and strategic support to the Afghan special police.

Mikhail Gorbachev, whose time as Soviet president saw the Cold War end, has strongly criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for escalating tensions with Russian Federation in the alliance's summit this week. That figure was itself a slowing of earlier plans that would have left only a small military presence of around 1,000 troops based at the United States embassy. On that point, both major candidates have gaps: Hillary Clinton has said little about Afghanistan and nothing about future troop deployments, while Donald Trump has been characteristically self-contradictory. And the devastating attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last month that killed more than 40 people was carried out by suicide bombers from southern Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan - three places where disaffected, impoverished Muslims are ripe for Islamic State's propaganda. The terrorism prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which Obama pledged to close, remains open.

Though U.S. officials said Obama was acting on a formal Pentagon recommendation of 8,400 troops, in recent weeks there were ongoing talks between the White House and the Pentagon, suggesting the final figure was the result of those discussions.

"So what we're seeing are some indications that some of the finances of the organization have been disrupted", he said.

"The decision to keep 8,400 troops in Afghanistan is a sign of continued partnership between our nations to fight our common enemy and strengthen regional stability", Tolo News quoted Ghani as saying. "If we fail there we will certainly see that impact in our global counterterrorism campaign that we're executing".

Currently, Resolute Support has about 13,000 troops, most of whom work as trainers for Afghan security forces.

In his first comments since Obama's announcement, General Joseph Votel, the head of the US military's Central Command, played down any impact of the looming troop withdrawal even as he acknowledged Afghan forces were suffering heavy casualties. But a second-generation USA military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq also has been necessitated by the political and military failures of the governments of those nations. Obama acknowledged that the numbers were in dispute, but he described the report as an initial and imperfect effort by the government to hold itself accountable for its errors.

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