The U.S. will keep more troops in Afghanistan for the first few month of 2015 than initially planned, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today.
During a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Hagel said that up to 10,800 troops will remain in the country at the start of next year; a previous announcement called for 1,000 fewer troops.
The decision is due to the late signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement, which allows a specified amount of U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the combat mission ends this year, a Defense Department official said.
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THE NATIONAL MEMO
New York Times
‘THE SECRET CASUALTIES OF IRAQ’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS’“From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.” ISIS is now believed to control these chemical weapons. [NYT]