After withdrawal of more than 2,000 troops from Syria, now US president Donald Trump, has decided to pull about 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, a US official said on Friday, but the Afghan presidency brushed off concerns the drawdown would affect security.
A US official said “roughly half” of the 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan would leave “within the next several months.” The move stunned and dismayed diplomats and officials in Kabul who are intensifying a push to end the 17-year conflict with the Taliban, which already controls vast amounts of territory and is causing “unsustainable” Afghan troop casualties. “If you’re the Taliban, Christmas has come early,” a senior foreign official in the Afghan capital said. “Would you be thinking of a ceasefire if your main opponent has just withdrawn half their troops?” A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani downplayed the news, saying: It “will not have a security impact because the Afghans have been in full control.”
US President Donald Trump on December 19 declared victory and called for a U.S. withdrawal from Syria over the apparent objections of military advisers and a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The withdrawal of the more than 2,000 troops is based on Trump’s decision that the mission against ISIS is complete, a U.S. official said. Meanwhile on December 20 United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned after disagreement with President Donald Trump over the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan, saying in a parting letter that the president deserves someone atop the Pentagon “better aligned” with his views.
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