Washington: US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he planned to leave 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
The troops will be reduced by roughly half by the end of 2015 and draw down to a normal embassy presence in Kabul by the end of 2016, Xinhua quoted the US president as saying at the White House.
After 2014, he said, US troops in Afghanistan will have "two narrow missions": training Afghan forces and supporting counter-terrorism operations against the remnants of Al Qaeda.
"We have now been in Afghanistan longer than many Americans expected," Obama said. "Now we're finishing the job we started."
Acknowledging that "Afghanistan will not be a perfect place", Obama added that "it is not America's responsibility to make it one."