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US plans full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by end-2016

Published on May 27, 2014 11:34 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US forces will complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday, unveiling a plan to end America’s longest war 15 years after the Sept 11 attacks.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Obama confirmed that the 32,000-strong US deployment in Afghanistan would be scaled back to around 9,800 by the start of 2015.

Those forces would be halved by the end of 2015 before eventually being scaled back to a normal embassy presence with a security assistance component by the end of 2016.

“We’re finishing the job we started,” Mr Obama said, as he outlined the end of US involvement in a conflict which began when American-led forces invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taleban and hunt Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

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