President Barack Obama’s promise to end two U.S. wars has receded beyond the horizon of his presidency.
Having been pulled at least partway back into Iraq, Obama now is scrapping his goal of leaving Afghanistan by the time he leaves office. The president announced Thursday that he’ll keep 9,800 U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan through much of next year and that 5,500 will stay after 2017 to train and assist Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism operations. The decision on a new date for full withdrawal will rest with the next U.S. president.
“I do not support the idea of endless war,” Obama said Thursday at the White House. Even so, he added, “I am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort. In the Afghan government, we have a serious partner that wants our help.”
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