President Obama announced on May 27 that while most U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, about 9,800 will remain. Half of those will be withdrawn over the course of 2015, with those remaining to be stationed mainly at the U.S. base at Bagram Airfield or the capital of Kabul. The plan calls for withdrawing the remaining forces by the end of 2016, leaving fewer than 1,000 behind to guard the U.S. Embassy staff in Kabul.
The chief of CIA operations in Kabul was identified by name on Saturday when a White House list of U.S. officials taking part in President Obama's surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan was released to the press.
Speaking to a crowd of 700 at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York on May 18, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for a more aggressive, interventionist U.S. foreign policy.