Today, President Obama announced that he will leave office with 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, up from the previous plan to leave 5,500 troops in the country by the end of his second term. (There are currently around 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.) The mission of the troops—to train and advise Afghan counterterrorism operations—has not changed.
When Obama first campaigned for office, he pledged to end the wars he had inherited from George W. Bush. Since then, the timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has been under constant revision—just two years ago, the president promised to leave only a security assistance force for the U.S. embassy in Kabul. It now seems that Obama won’t leave behind the legacy he had hoped—and that the next president will once again inherit her predecessor’s war.