US May Leave Small Number in Afghanistan

The United States may drastically lower the number of soldiers it leaves stationed in Afghanistan, due to less Taliban interference in the Afghanistan presidential elections this past April 5.

The top NATO and US commanders have recommended leaving around 10,000 US soldiers in order to train and Afghanistan's own security force and conduct counterterrorism operations. Due to a lack of cohesive and disruptive attacks, however, some high-ranking US officials are now considering leaving as few as 5,000 soldiers. This would put a higher burden on Afghanistan's own soldiers and police forces.

No matter the number of soldiers recommended to stay, the newly-elected Afghanistan president will have to sign a bilateral security agreement in order for the US to keep soldiers and equipment in the country. In order to avoid unnecessary risk to US soldiers, an agreement would need to be signed by September at the very latest.

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