According to US officials who are declining to be named, President Obama is continuing to advance plans to leave many more US ground troops in occupied Afghanistan in January than the 9,800 that were presented to Americans as the residual training force.
Reports last month suggested this would be the case, with other NATO member nations not coming through with the numbers of troops they’d promised, and President Obama intended to make up the difference with US forces.
Officials say the talks are still going on as far as how many additional US troops will be left in Afghanistan in January. It’s more than just numbers, however, as the US is also expanding its combat role in 2015 above and beyond what they’d originally agreed to in the status of forces deal with the Afghan government.
Starting in January, the administration had initially presented the war as being “over,” and the remaining troops just engaging in training. Now, they’re going to be engaging in direct combat at least through the end of 2015, and potentially longer, and are also bringing back night raids, long banned by the Karzai government.