WASHINGTON: All US troops in Afghanistan needs to be “dwelling by Christmas,” President Donald Trump stated on Wednesday, simply hours after his nationwide safety adviser stated Washington would cut back its forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early subsequent 12 months.
A landmark deal between the USA and the Taliban in February stated international forces would depart Afghanistan by Might 2021 in trade for counterterrorism ensures from the Taliban, which agreed to barter a everlasting ceasefire and a power-sharing formulation with the Afghan authorities.
Trump and different officers have stated the USA will go all the way down to between 4,000 and 5,000 troops in Afghanistan round November.
Past that, officers have stated {that a} discount will depend upon circumstances in Afghanistan.
On Twitter, Trump stated: “We must always have the small remaining variety of our BRAVE Males and Girls serving in Afghanistan dwelling by Christmas!”
It was unclear whether or not Trump was giving an order or verbalizing a long-held aspiration.
Tump, who’s in search of re-election subsequent month, has made strolling away from “ridiculous limitless wars” the cornerstone of his international coverage, despite the fact that 1000’s of troops stay in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
The Taliban, preventing to expel international forces and re-establish their Islamic state since their ouster in 2001, welcomed Tump’s feedback.
The US president’s assertion was “a optimistic step in direction of the implementation of the Doha settlement”, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem stated in an announcement, referring to the February pact signed within the Qatari capital.
The US-backed Afghan authorities didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark however officers have warned towards a hasty withdrawal of international forces.
Trump’s feedback might additional weaken the Afghan authorities’s leverage throughout negotiations with the Taliban on a ceasefire and power-sharing happening in Qatar.
Simply hours earlier than Trump’s tweet, nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien stated the USA had lower than 5,000 troops in Afghanistan presently and would go all the way down to 2,500 by early subsequent 12 months.
“In the end, the Afghans themselves are going to should work out an accord, a peace settlement. … It should be gradual progress, it’s going to be arduous progress, however we predict it’s a needed step – we predict Individuals want to return dwelling,” O’Brien instructed an occasion on the College of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Nationwide Safety Council and White Home didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The White Home’s plan for the drawdown will virtually definitely be topic to evaluation ought to Trump lose his bid for a second time period within the Nov. three election.
Regardless of the settlement on the US troop withdrawal and the talks between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, the struggle reveals no signal of ending.
Scores of Afghan troopers and Taliban fighters have been killed in clashes in current seeks. Dozens of civilians have additionally died.
Testifying earlier than a US Home of Representatives committee final month, US Particular Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad stated that when the variety of US troops reached 4,500, the administration “would do an analysis of ties and actions that we’ve taken and make choices on that.”
About 2,400 US service members have been killed within the Afghan battle and lots of 1000’s extra wounded.
Wednesday additionally marks 19 years since the USA invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban rulers who had harbored al Qaeda militants who attacked the USA on Sept. 11, 2001.

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