US President, Barrack Obama said only 9,800 US troops are to remain in Afghanistan post 2014, provided the bilateral security agreement between both countries was signed.
The American soldiers are to remain in Afghanistan till 2016, after which they would begin a gradual exit, the President added.
He also announced that about 33,000 American soldiers, currently posted in Afghanistan, are expected to return home by the end of the current year.
“This year, we will bring America’s longest war to a responsible end,” President Obama said.
American troops will also continue to train the Afghan forces and cooperate in anti- terrorist operations, post the end of this year.
President Obama said his plans are dependent on Afghanistan’s next leader signing the bilateral security accord, something that outgoing President Hamid Karzai had refused to endorse. Following a Memorial Day trip that Obama made to Afghanistan, the White House circulated reports indicating that both leading contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, intend to sign the security pact, preventing a scenario that would have seen US troops lose their legal protection in Afghanistan.
These announcements made by President Obama, indicate that the longest war in American history – launched by President George W Bush, following the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks, will probably end by the time he is ready to leave office.