President plans to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends

Obama: 'Now we are finishing the job we started'

WASHINGTON - Senior U.S. administration officials say President Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year.

Nearly all of those forces are to be out by the end of 2016, as Obama finishes his second term.

Troop drawdown plan:

  • Current: 32,800
  • End of 2014: 9,800
  • End of 2015: 4,900
  • 2016: Reduced to Embassy presence

The two-year plan is contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. While outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, U.S. officials are confident that either of the candidates seeking to replace him will give his approval.

Obama will announce the plan in a statement from the White House Tuesday afternoon. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan by name ahead of the president.

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