Top General Wants 10,000 U.S. Troops in Afghanistan until 2017

SAF Regional Command North by Lt. j.g. Amy Forsythe

AA Font size + Print

Gen. Joseph Dunford is reportedly pushing a plan to keep 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2017. By Stephanie Gaskell

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan will go to the White House on Monday to recommend keeping 10,000 troops there until 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Gen. Joseph Dunford’s plan reportedly has the support of several key leaders, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.

The troops would train Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations. All other U.S. forces would leave the country as planned at the end of the year. It’s unclear if President Barack Obama and his National Security Adviser Susan Rice support the plan.

(Read more Defense One coverage of Afghanistan here)

A bilateral security agreement must still be signed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in order for U.S. troops to stay past 2014. Karzai said he supports U.S. and NATO troops staying past the withdrawal, but he’s stalled on signing the deal ahead of April presidential elections.

“The number is up to Obama to decide,” Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi told Defense One in December. “It is not the number of troops which matter to us but the nature of their mission. We want future U.S. military presence to be in accordance with the Afghan law and does not violate our sovereignty and the basic rights of our people.”

Hagel said a decision on post-2014 troop levels needs to be made soon, so NATO countries can plan ahead. “You can’t do that at the last minute. There are budgets. There are commitments. You’ve got political constituencies. You’ve got congresses, parliaments, national leaders,” he said, adding that the deal should be in place by the NATO defense ministerial meeting next month.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.