The US Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that "the administration of President Barack Obama aims 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 newspaper said the plan was in line with recommendations presented by General John Allen, commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, who has proposed a force between 6,000 and 15,000 US troops."This force will conduct training and counterterrorism operations after the NATO mission in Afghanistan formally concludes at the end of 2014," the US daily claimed.
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).
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is said to be willing to accept a US troop presence post-2014 as long as his key demands are met.
According to the Journal, his main request is that American forces come under the jurisdiction of Afghan courts.
However, the paper said, some military analysts outside of the US government believe that the training and counterterrorism mission would require a much larger US presence -- perhaps as many as 30,000 troops.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org