9,800 U.S. Troops to Stay in Afghanistan

President Obama announced Tuesday the U.S. would slow the pace of withdrawal from Afghanistan and leave 9,800 troops through the end of 2015. The announcement came after a White House meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who requested keeping an additional 5,000 troops. The decision is also aimed at supporting counterterrorism efforts, including CIA drone strikes and other special operations, which are conducted out of two large military bases in Afghanistan, according to two administration officials. The president also vowed to keep his promise to close the remaining U.S. bases and consolidate forces in Kabul by the end of 2016.