12:13 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Obama to Decide US Troops Level in Afghanistan Beyond 2016 - Ghani

    © AFP 2019 / MARK WILSON / POOL
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    President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani said that Afghanistan would not get involved in any discussion on the number of US troops to remain in the country after 2016.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The decision on the number of troops that will remain in Afghanistan after 2016 is up to the President of the United States, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani said at a press conference at Camp David.

    “We are not going to get involved in any discussion of numbers,” Ghani stated on Monday when asked how many troops he would like to remain in the country beyond the end of 2016. “That decision will solely be made by President Barack Obama.”

    US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah were present at the press conference.

    Carter said the US Department of Defense will seek funding to support 352,000 Afghan security forces until 2017 in order to ensure the security gains are not lost.

    Maintaining Afghan security forces at the 350,000 level has cost about $4 billion per year.

    The US military maintains some 10,000 troops in Afghanistan dedicated to training Afghan security forces, as well as engaging in limited counterterrorism operations in a new mission called Resolute Support.


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