US troops likely to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014

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Washington: The US administration led by President Barack Obama intends to leave behind around 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan post 2014 when formal combat operations in the country ends.

The plan was in line with recommendations presented by General John Allen, commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, who proposed to leave between 6,000 and 15,000 US troops in Afghanistan after 2014, a report, published in The Wall Street Journal late Sunday quotes unnamed senior US officials.

The report said that this force will carry out training and counter terrorism operations after the NATO mission in Afghanistan formally finishes off at the end of 2014.

Around 67,000 US troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan along with 37,000 troops of coalition partners and also 337,000 local soldiers and police of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

However, the US has stressed that it does not aim permanent bases in Afghanistan while Afghan President Hamid Karzai is said to be willing to accept a US troop presence post-2014 until his foremost demands are met.

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