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Keep 8,000 To 12,000 Troops In Afghanistan, Says Top Military Officer

Photo credit: DoD

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced this week he would back keeping anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan as a stabilizing force after the 2014 deadline to leave the country.

On Thursday, Dempsey testified before the House Armed Services Committee to give his assessment of Obama's proposed fiscal year 2014 budget.

Dempsey told the committee he believed it was in the best interest of Afghanistan for the Afghan military to take the lead in security for their own country:

“As they gain confidence, so too do the Afghan people."

Bloomberg reports former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta first broached the possibility of keeping an allied, stabilizing force of 8,000 to 12,000 troops in Afghanistan post-2014 back in February, during talks with NATO allies in Brussels, Belgium.

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