Afghan casualties surged in 2015 - Afghanistan TimesAfghanistan Times:
The security situation in Afghanistan deteriorated last year as U.S. forces stepped back from conducing combat operations and reduced their troop levels to 9,800. At the same time, Afghan forces faced a resurgent Taliban as well as al-Qaida and Islamic State militants.
Campbell, in the interview, said he will travel to Washington soon and will urge senior leaders to maintain at least 9,800 U.S. troops through most of 2016. In October, President Obama announced that American forces would remain in Afghanistan after his presidency, saying the troop level would be brought down to 5,500 this year.
The primary task for U.S. troops in Afghanistan is training and advising Afghan forces. Americans are permitted to defend themselves, and elite special operations units continue to conduct raids on al-Qaida and related terrorist operations there. U.S warplanes can also swoop in to attack the Taliban if allied forces are under siege.