STAYING IN AFGHANISTAN. Thursday’s big news was Obama’s announcement that the current level of 9,800 troops would stay in Afghanistan through much of 2016, and that a force of 5,500 would remain thereafter – ending his campaign to bring home almost all troops stationed in the country. The Washington Post reports that the decision to change strategy came after a months-long review that was punctuated by the Taliban moving into Kunduz last month and quickly taking over the city. Afghan officials welcomed the announcement. 

FIRST-EVER ALLEGED TERROR-HACKER CASE. It reads like a modern spy drama, but the consequences were potentially deadly: The Washington Post reports that the Justice Department is charging a Kosovar arrested in Malaysia with stealing the personal data of U.S. service members and giving it to the Islamic State. It is the first time that the Justice Department has charged someone for both terrorism and hacking, and the combination reflects a troubling turn in how cybersecurity weaknesses are dovetailing with some of the worst on-the-ground threats.

KUNDUZ: WHAT THEY KNEW. The Associated Press reports that American operations analysts knew days before they fired on the hospital in Kunduz that it was a medical facility, but it is not clear if that information got to commanders before the strike. The site was suspect because U.S. analysts believed a Pakistani operative was coordinating Taliban activity from inside. U.S. officials have said the suspected operative died in the attack, though no evidence has been presented to publicly back up the claim, and Doctors Without Borders, which ran the hospital, says none of its staff was from Pakistan.