Military

Jul 17, 2014 11:20 AM

US military didn't seek Afghan pullout in 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is telling senators that military commanders did not recommend the White House announce the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2017, as the president ordered.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said U.S. and Afghan military leaders would have preferred to see American officials be "a bit more ambiguous" in troop numbers for 2017, and not telegraph to the enemy that international troops would leave.

Dunford was testifying before a Senate committee, which is considering his nomination to head the U.S. Marine Corps.

President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. to withdraw all but nearly 10,000 troops by the end of 2014, cut that number in half by the end of 2015, and leave only about 1,000 in a security office after the end of 2016.

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