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Afghanistan welcomes Obama pledge to keep US troops in country

US President Barack Obama pauses while announcing a halt to troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on October 15, 2015Kabul welcomed the US decision to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan past 2016, vowing to respond to a resurgent Taliban “with full force” even as the rebels promised to wage jihad until the last American soldier leaves. President Barack Obama’s decision Thursday to keep a 9,800-strong US force in Afghanistan through much of next year came as he admitted that Afghan forces were not ready to stand alone. Calling the plan “the right thing to do”, Obama acknowledged “Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be”.

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