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US plans full Afghan withdrawal by end 2016: official

US President Barack Obama speaks to US troops during a surprise visit to Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014The United States plans to reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan to 9,800 this year and to bring its military intervention to an end by the end of 2016, a senior official said Tuesday. President Barack Obama was to announce the plan, which depends on the Afghan government agreeing to sign a joint security agreement with its US ally, later in the day. “We will only sustain a military presence after 2014 if the Afghan government signs the Bilateral Security Agreement,” the senior administration official told reporters. “By the end of 2015, we would reduce that presence by roughly half, consolidating US troops in Kabul and on Bagram Airfield.

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