Trump To Pull Half Of Troops From Afghanistan

Trump To Pull Half Of Troops From Afghanistan

There are at least 14,000 forces in Afghanistan who are engaged in counterterror as well as train and advise mission for their Afghan counterparts.

US President Donald Trump has chose to pull a significant number of troops from Afghanistan, a US official has told AFP, but the Afghan presidency on Friday brushed off concerns the drawdown would affect security.

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani meanwhile said in November that 28,529 Afghan security forces had been killed since the start of 2015, a figure far higher than anything previously acknowledged. He quit shortly after USA officials raised the possibility that Trump would order the drawdown.

The consideration comes just one day after Trump announced he was pulling 2,000 US troops out of Syria within 30 days.

"That decision has been made". Neither has USA defence officials confirmed the withdrawl reports, the BBC said. The Pentagon has been ordered to begin the planning immediately.

A withdrawal of so many United States troops would represent an abrupt shift in United States strategy announced a year ago, which saw thousands of troops sent to Afghanistan and air strikes intensified to put pressure on the Taliban to talk.

It also came shortly before Trump announced that his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, would be leaving his post at the end of February.

Neighbor Pakistan, who has been harshly criticized by Trump for not doing enough to bring the Taliban to the table, had warned that a sudden departure of USA troops would result in chaos in Afghanistan and destabilize the region. Mattis wrote in his resignation letter that Trump should choose a replacement "whose views are better aligned with yours". The Pentagon had been pushing hard against a drawdown, however, trying to emphasize the large death tolls in Afghanistan as a sign of progress.

"As the Kabul administration is the product of the invasion as it has neither capability to end nor want to end the invasion", a Taliban commentary on their official website said.

The U.S. may be a major player in Afghanistan but it's the same player, which has not been able to defeat some local tribes with its military might.

Mohammad Taqi, a Florida-based political analyst, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that a rapid USA withdrawal would be "a huge mistake".

Many Afghans greeted the reports of a US drawdown with dismay.

The announcement seems certain to complicate efforts to reach a peace deal, mostly because it gives the Taliban leverage by allowing them to hold off until a total USA withdrawal, or step up their demands over a weakened Afghan government.

While speaking to the media in Multan on Saturday, the foreign minister spoke about the marathon peace talks held recently between the Afghan Taliban and United States officials at Abu Dhabi in an attempt to end the 17-year-old Afghan war.

The U.A.E. hailed the talks as "positive for all parties concerned", while the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Khalid bin Salman, claimed the meetings will produce "very positive results by the beginning of next year".

Mr. Trump announced Wednesday that he would pull all of the more than 2,000 American troops from Syria.

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