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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“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to step down”


Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama announced Monday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will step down from his position as soon as the Senate confirms a successor.

Hagel, who has served as Defense secretary since February 2013, was forced out by President Barack Obama, CNN confirmed from several sources.

During his remarks from the White House, Obama, however, praised Hagel as an “exemplary” Defense secretary, calling him critical to a number of national security accomplishments during his tenure, and characterized Hagel’s resignation as his own choice.  FULL ARTICLE

“Obama’s post-election strategy”