Trump to pull a large number of US troops out of Afghanistan

Trump to pull a large number of US troops out of Afghanistan

Trump to pull a large number of US troops out of Afghanistan

The news followed a two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi between USA special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives at which the two sides discussed the withdrawal of global forces and a ceasefire in 2019. The militants, fighting to restore their version of strict Islamic law to Afghanistan, said their campaign was a response to a more aggressive United States military strategy adopted previous year, which aims to force the militants into peace talks. The final decision on when the troops will be out is not yet confirmed, though one official claimed that they will come back by summer.

Afghan officials put up a courageous face, with an adviser to President Ashraf Ghani writing on Twitter that the US decision "will not affect our security". "We must do everything possible to advance an global order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances", he added, clearly implying Trump was not doing it. However, Trump has chose to withdraw the troops as he considered the battle to be a lost cause.

U.S. troops our both training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces and carrying out counterterrorism operations against regional terror groups, like ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The withdrawal would halve America's defence presence in the country, where U.S. officials and the Taliban have been in talks to end the 17-year conflict. We've beaten them, and we've beaten them badly. "We are expecting more good news".

But a former senior State Department official familiar with the issue said that the Taliban representatives rejected a proposal by Khalilzad for a ceasefire and demanded that the talks focus on a USA withdrawal.

"If you're the Taliban, Christmas has come early", a senior foreign official in the Afghan capital told AFP news agency on the condition of anonymity.

"Because you have the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position", the departing Defense Secretary, who met his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman four times this year for talks, said.

A U.S. army crew chief flying on board a CH-47F Chinook helicopter observes the successful test of flares during a training flight in Afghanistan, on March 14, 2018.

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So Rachel Maddow opposes sending more troops to Afghanistan - but anyone who wants to withdraw U.S. forces from the country is a Putin stooge. "If we continue on our present course we are setting in motion the loss of all our gains and paving the way toward a second 9/11".

The United States has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan working either with a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to support Afghan forces or in separate counter-terrorism operations.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported that more than 7,000 troops would be returning from Afghanistan.

The Taliban insurgency has strengthened its grip over the past three years, with the government in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of Afghanistan, down from 72 percent in 2015, a USA government report showed.

The war is now America's longest, with more than 2,200 U.S. military personnel killed there since the start 2001, including 13 this year.

In September 2017 Mr Trump announced the United States would send 3,000 extra troops to the country amid a shift of strategy.

"Now it has a tremendous battlefield advantage, which gives it the opportunity to scale up its fight in a huge way".

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