Friday, November 21, 2014

Exclusive:Obama Secretly OKs US Afghan Combat; Signed Order Allowing US Troops to Fight in 2015

President Obama signed a secret order in recent weeks authorizing a more expansive mission for the U.S. military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned -- a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year -- the NY Times website reports exclusively tonight (November 21, 2014).

In an announcement in the White House Rose Garden in May, Obama said that American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that the missions for the 9,800 troops remaining in the country would be limited to training Afghan forces and to hunting the "remnants of Al Qaeda."

But Obama's secret order allows American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government -- a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military, and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision.

The secret order also allows American jets, bombers, and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions.

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