U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement after meeting with the National Security Council at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Feb. 25, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
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President Barack Obama has ordered the US military to take on the resurgent Taliban more directly – in tandem with Afghan allies, ratcheting up a 15-year conflict that he had vowed to end.Obama came to office in 2008, promising to end one of America's longest and most grueling wars.The first U.S. troops arrived in Afghanistan 15 years ago, after the Taliban government refused to turn over 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.More than 2,000 U.S. personnel have died in the ensuing war.There are still 9,800 U.S. troops in the country, down from a peak of around 100,000 in March 2011 .More than 5,000 Afghan troops died last year, prompting Obama to indefinitely postpone the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
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