- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on developments regarding U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Republican leaders in Congress are welcoming President Barack Obama’s decision to keep a larger number of forces in Afghanistan. But they’re criticizing him for not keeping even more.

Obama says he’ll leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan. Military leaders had recommended that the number be 9,800. Previously, Obama had said he would cut U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan to 5,500.

Sen. John McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Arizona Republican says Obama’s announcement is preferable to cutting the troop level by nearly half.

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10:38 a.m.

President Barack Obama is slowing the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, leaving 8,400 troops there into next year.

Originally he had planned to drop troop levels to 5,500 by the end of the year.

The numbers reflect a compromise between Obama’s original plan and what many military commanders had recommended.

Obama says the security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious. And he says Afghan security forces are not as strong as they need to be.

His decision fixes the number of troops who will remain in Afghanistan through the end of his presidency.

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10:20 a.m.

President Barack Obama plans to keep about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office.

That’s according to individuals briefed on Obama’s plan. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the numbers before the president’s announcement later Wednesday

The numbers reflect a compromise between Obama’s original plan and what many military commanders had recommended.

Obama had planned to drop troop levels from 9,800 to 5,500 troops by the end of 2016. But Taliban resurgence has forced Washington to rethink its exit strategy.

Obama plans to announce the numbers during a statement from the Roosevelt Room. He’ll appear with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford.

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