Up to 1,000 more U.S. soldiers than previously planned will stay in Afghanistan next year, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The move comes in response to delays in signing security pacts which were supposed to draw in troops from other countries. Hagel also added, however, that a surge in Taliban violence in Kabul also proves the continued need for a foreign presence. “The recent wave of Taliban attacks has made it clear that the international community must not waver in its support for a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan,” Hagel said on Saturday during an unannounced trip to Kabul. The troops who stay behind in two weeks, at the official end of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, will provide “combat enabler” support to Afghan soldiers.
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