Trump confirms plans to further reduce US troop numbers in Afghanistan

by Gabriel Dominguez

US President Donald Trump has confirmed that he plans to further reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan from currently 8,600 to possibly as low as 4,000 by the time the US presidential election is held on 3 November.

In an interview with the ‘Axios on HBO’ news programme Trump said, “We are largely out of Afghanistan ... We’ll be down in a very short period of time to 8,000 [troops], then we are going down to 4,000. We are negotiating right now. We have been there for 19 years. We’ll be getting out.”

During the interview, which aired on 3 August, Trump initially stated the drawdown would take place “very soon”, but when asked about the number of US troops that will remain in the Central Asian country by 3 November, Trump replied, “Probably anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000”.

Washington has already cut the number of US Forces in Afghanistan from about 12,000 to 8,600 since it reached a conditions-based agreement with the Taliban militant group on 29 February.

Under the deal, which is intended to pave the way for a political settlement between Kabul and the Taliban and ultimately end the almost 19-year-old conflict in the country, all foreign troops could leave Afghanistan by May 2021.

US soldiers enter a US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an Afghan National Army combat outpost in Afghanistan on 23 June 2015. US President Donald Trump has announced plans to further cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan to between 4,000 and 5,000 by 3 November.  (USAF)

US soldiers enter a US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an Afghan National Army combat outpost in Afghanistan on 23 June 2015. US President Donald Trump has announced plans to further cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan to between 4,000 and 5,000 by 3 November. (USAF)

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/trump-confirms-plans-to-further-reduce-us-troop-numbers-in-afghanistan

US President Donald Trump has confirmed that he plans to further reduce the number of US troops in A...

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