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White House to keep fewer than 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014

White House to keep fewer than 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014

President Obama is set to announce that he'll keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the American combat mission officially finishes at the end of 2014. By the end of 2015, that figure is expected be reduced again by half. Another reduction of American personnel will continue through 2016, when there will only be a "normal Embassy presence."

In the president's plans, the United States will focus on two missions after this year: supporting operations against terrorists and training Afghan forces. For the strategy to work, it assumes that Afghan government officials will sign a security agreement with the United States, which both of its presidential candidates have committed to doing.

President Obama is expected to officially announce the news at a press conference this afternoon.