President Obama plans to cut the U.S. presence in Afghanistan dramatically by the end of the year and announced the next steps in winding down the war in Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon.
With the combat mission in Afghanistan ending in December, Obama made clear that the U.S. is open to continued efforts in two "narrow missions" — training Afghan forces and supporting counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda — after 2014, according to a senior administration official.
At the beginning of his presidency, Obama said there were 180,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by the end of this year, there will be fewer than 10,000. There are currently 32,000 servicemen in Afghanistan.
Reacting to the news, Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were pleased that Obama decided to keep 9,800 troops there until the end of 2015 but criticized the announcement for detailing the U.S. exit strategy.