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US commander wants flexibility in how fast troops leave Afghanistan, where they can be based

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WASHINGTON — The top U.S. military commander for Afghanistan says he's asked for greater flexibility in how quickly he pulls troops out of Afghanistan and where he can position them around the country.

PHOTO: FILE - In this March 18, 2013 file photo, Gen. John Campbell speaks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The top U.S. military commander for Afghanistan says he’s asked for greater flexibility in how quickly he pulls troops out of Afghanistan and where he can position them around the country. Campbell provided few details Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said, however, he’s presented military leaders with several options that would allow him to better continue training and assisting Afghan forces, particularly through this summer’s peak fighting season. (AP Photo/John Milburn, File)
FILE - In this March 18, 2013 file photo, Gen. John Campbell speaks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The top U.S. military commander for Afghanistan says he’s asked for greater flexibility in how quickly he pulls troops out of Afghanistan and where he can position them around the country. Campbell provided few details Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said, however, he’s presented military leaders with several options that would allow him to better continue training and assisting Afghan forces, particularly through this summer’s peak fighting season. (AP Photo/John Milburn, File)

Army Gen. John Campbell provided few details Thursday during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said, however, he's presented military leaders with several options that would allow him to better continue training and assisting Afghan forces, particularly through this summer's peak fighting season.

Current plans call for the U.S. to go from about 10,800 troops there now to 5,500 by year's end.

Campbell also expressed concern about the potential emergence of Islamic State group fighters in Afghanistan. He says the group has a nascent presence there, mostly marginalized Taliban fighters.

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