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WATCH LIVE: Obama Afghanistan troop announcement

President Obama will announce Tuesday that the United States will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, after the U.S. combat mission ends in 2014, a senior administration official said.

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That number would be cut in half by the end of 2015, the official said. And by the end of 2016, U.S. forces would be reduced to a normal embassy presence in Kabul, ending more than a decade of heavy U.S. troop involvement in the country where the Sept. 11, 2001, plot was hatched.

In a statement, the senior administration official said that the troops in Afghanistan in 2015 and 2016 would be on "narrow missions," including training Afghan forces and supporting "operations against the remnants of al Qaeda." The announcement ends months of speculation over how many troops the president would authorize to continue training Afghan forces and conducting a counterterrorism mission there after 2014.

Military officials had publicly said they needed at least 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan to prevent the resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

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