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US to keep 9800 troops in Afghanistan

FILE - This May 25, 2014 file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking during a troop rally after arriving at Bagram Air Field for an unannounced visit, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Senior U.S. administration officials say President Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year. Nearly all of those forces are to be out by the end of 2016, as Obama finishes his second term. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File) -
FILE - This May 25, 2014 file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking during a troop rally after arriving at Bagram Air Field for an unannounced visit, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Senior U.S. administration officials say President Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year. Nearly all of those forces are to be out by the end of 2016, as Obama finishes his second term. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
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By Julie Pace, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Senior administration officials say President Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year.

Nearly all of those forces are to be out by the end of 2016, as Obama finishes his second term.

The two-year plan is contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. While current Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, U.S. officials are confident that either of the candidates seeking to replace him will give his approval.

Obama will announce the plan in a statement from the White House Tuesday afternoon. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan by name ahead of the president.

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