LANHAM, Md. (WNEW/CBS NEWS) — “This year, we will bring America’s longest war to a responsible end,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday as he announced at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden that just under 10,000 American troops will remain in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Obama said about 32,000 servicemembers are currently stationed in Afghanistan, compared with the peak amount of about 100,000.
According to a CBS News, the future of U.S. troop presence heavily depends on a security agreement allowing U.S. troops to stay after the combat mission concludes, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign it. All candidates running to replace Karzai, however, have indicated they do plan to sign the agreement, if elected.
If that comes to pass, just 9,800 servicemembers will remain in the country at the beginning of 2015
“Afghanistan will not be a perfect place and it is not America’s responsibility to make it one,” Obama said. “The future of Afghanistan must be decided by Afghans.”