US plans to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan post-pullout
President Barack Obama's administration has planned to keep around 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan after formal combat operations in that country end in 2014.
Citing unnamed senior US officials, the Wall Street Journal said the plan is in line with recommendations given by commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan General John Allen, who has proposed a force between 6,000 and 15,000 US troops.
According to telegraph.com.au, the planned force will conduct training and counterterrorism operations after the NATO mission in Afghanistan formally ends in 2014.
About 67,000 US troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan alongside 37,000 coalition troops and 337,000 local soldiers and police that make up the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the report said.
The United States and Afghanistan launched crucial talks on November 15 on the status of US forces remaining in Afghanistan after the NATO withdrawal of combat troops in 2014, it added.
The US has stressed that it is not seeking permanent bases in Afghanistan.
According to the report, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is said to be willing to accept US troop presence after 2014, as long as his key demands are met.