Obama forced again to rethink troop numbers in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - Conditions in Afghanistan are getting worse, 15 years into a war that few Americans talk about any more.
That's preventing the clean ending that President Barack Obama hoped to impose before leaving office. Violence is on the rise, the Taliban are staging new offensives, the Islamic State group is angling for a foothold and peace prospects are dim.
Afghanistan remains a danger zone.
It's hobbled by a weak economy that's sapping public confidence in the new government. Afghan police and soldiers are struggling to hold the country together 13 months after the U.S.-led military coalition culled its numbers by 90 percent.
Here's the bottom line: For a second time, Obama is rethinking his plan to trim U.S. troops from 9,800 to 5,500 before he leaves office in January 2017.