President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he will leave behind 3,000 more troops in Afghanistan than originally planned, effectively handing involvement in a raging civil war the United States joined after the 9/11 attacks to his successor.
Speaking from the White House, Obama said he would draw down troops to 8,400 by the end of his administration, a change from the initial target of 5,500.
Currently there are 9,800 troops supporting the Afghanistan government in its fight against the Taliban, attempts by al Qaeda to regroup and a promising threat from ISIS.
"Afghanistan is not a perfect place. It remains one of the poorest countries in the world. It is going to continue to take time for them to build up military capacity that we sometimes take for granted," Obama said.
Adding that, “given the enormous challenges they face, the Afghan people will need the partnership of the world, led by the United States, for many years to come.”