Troops will stay in Afghanistan longer than originally planned

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WASHINGTON (AP) – He had vowed to end the war in Afghanistan before leaving office — but President Barack Obama is now changing his plans.
    
He now says he’ll leave nearly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through most of next year, and that there will still be 5,500 there when he leaves office.
    
Military leaders have been pushing for additional help from the U.S. to challenge the Taliban and hold onto gains made over the past 14 years of American bloodshed and billions of dollars in aid.
    
Obama calls it a “modest but meaningful” extension of the U.S. military mission that was due to end next year. He says U.S. troops will continue to focus on counter terrorism and training Afghan troops.
    
The president says the Afghan military has made gains but is still not as strong as it needs to be.

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