>> The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious.>> With Taliban attacks on the rise, President Obama on Wednesday forced to back track on Afghanistan saying he'll leave 8400 US troops there when he leaves office rather than the 5,500 planned just a few months ago.>> Maintaining our forces at this specific level, based on our assessment of the security conditions and the strength of Afghan forces, will allow us to continue to provide tailored support to help Afghan forces continue to improve.
>> White House correspondent Jeff Mason.>> This basically shows that the situation on the ground is still very difficult. And the president acknowledged the fact that the Taliban has made gains in some cases, and has not been defeated in the way that the president hoped and that the US military had hoped.
>> The decision coming in the face of relentless attacks including an assault last week near Kabul, killing scores of Afghan police cadets. Taliban fighters now hold more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since the 2001 US led invasion. According to UN estimates. Despite a 14 year US campaign sparked by the attacks on 9/11.
This shift coming in the face of Obama's pledge to wind down the war in Afghanistan when he ran for the White House. And after Obama reversed course in Iraq as well, sending in thousands of military advisers against ISIS after withdrawing US combat troops.>> His decision on Wednesday is a shift and it will affect his legacy.
It is not exactly how he hoped to end.>> Wednesday's announcement comes days before Obama intends a NATO summon in Warsaw, Poland, where alliance members are expected to confirm support for the Afghan government.