In this Sept. 29, 2015, photo, a Taliban fighter stands guard on a vehicle in Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo)
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In a potential major shift in policy, U.S. military commanders want to keep at least a few thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016, citing a fragile security situation highlighted by the Taliban's capture of the northern city of Kunduz this week as well as recent militant inroads in the south.About 9,800 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan. But the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John F. Campbell, has given the administration several options for gradually reducing that number over the next 15-months. The loss of Kunduz may prove temporary, but it has underscored the fragility of Afghan security and hardened the view of those who favor keeping U.S. troops there beyond 2016 .The options, officials said, include keeping as many as 8,000 troops there well into next year and maintaining several thousand troops as a counter terrorism force into 2017 .The U.S. officially ended its combat role at the end of 2014 but has kept troops there to train and advise Afghan forces and to hit terrorist targets.
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