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Top Commander in Afghanistan Recommends More Troops Stay for Longer

“The U.S. Army general leading the 14,000-strong NATO force in Afghanistan made a plea on Tuesday to leave American forces in Afghanistan longer to train the faltering Afghan security forces,” Paul McLeary reports, “a move that would require President Barack Obama to scrap his December 2016 timeline for withdrawing the last U.S. troops from the country.”  

“Afghans still ‘cannot handle the fight alone’ without American close air support and a special operations counterterrorism force to hit Taliban leadership, Gen. John Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee… Campbell said he has provided the White House a variety of options on troop strength, but he hedged when asked specifically how many of the 9,800 American troops should remain in Afghanistan and for how long.”  

“In recent recommendations sent to the White House in September, Campbell proposed keeping as many as 8,000 U.S. troops in the country through 2017 and beyond… but Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘our support cannot and should not be indefinite.’ Pressed by lawmakers to criticize Obama’s plan to leave Afghanistan in little over a year, Campbell would only say his job is to provide options to the White House.”

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