Obama Leaves 9,800 Troops in Afghanistan

Bagram Air Base
President Barack Obama sits for a military briefing with U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford (R) at Bagram Air Base in Kabul, May 25, 2014. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Wednesday in announcing a plan to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan in 2015 that Afghanistan will not be a perfect place and it is not up to the United States to make it one.

Anticipating criticism of his decision for a near-total U.S. pullout at the end of 2016, Obama said Afghanistan security forces have shown they are capable of defending their country.

"We have to recognize that Afghanistan will not be a perfect place and it is not America's responsibility to make it one," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.

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