KABUL: The U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to withdraw more than 7,000 of the 14,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months amid a fatiguing war, US media outlets reported.
In a report published on December 20, the New York Times quotes a US official saying that President Trump’s decision to pull out about half of the US troops in Afghanistan comes at the same time he decided to pull American forces out of Syria.
Chakhansoori rules out impact of US military drawdown on national security
The report says that those who are part of the 7,000-troop withdrawal will be a mixture of forces from both of those missions.
The US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursdayannounced that he would resign from his position at the end of February after disagreeing with President Trump over his approach to policy in the Middle East.
The paper quotes another US official saying the reduction of forces in Afghanistan is in an effort to make Afghan forces more reliant on their own troops and not Western support.
The US troops in Afghanistan are deployed in a mission to train and advise Afghan forces and help counterterror mission.
US government’s figures show that more than 2,400 Americans have died in Afghanistan since 2001, and this year 13 were killed in combat.Since the end of 2014, when the Pentagon declared an end to combat operations in the country, more than 25,000 Afghan soldiers and police have been killed.
This comes amid increasing efforts by the Afghan government and its international allies, US on the top, to reach a political settlement for ending the war in Afghanistan.In line with these efforts, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, met with Afghan government leaders, political leaders and activists in Kabul to discuss the Afghan peace.Khalilzad said Taliban has accepted that they cannot win by warfare and that political settlement should be sought for ending the crisis in the country.
This is as President Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said that a reduction in number of the troops will not affect the security of the country. “The concerns circulating in mass media on the future of Afghanistan, were spreading much more than this in 2014,” President Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said in a social media message on Friday.
He said “many analysts were warning that if the 100,000 plus foreign forces leave Afghanistan, the country will fall; however, our brave National Defense and Security Forces proved this wrong by making sacrifices and defended the country and the people with courage”.
“If they withdraw from Afghanistan it will not have a security impact because in the last four and a half years Afghan forces have been in full control,” Chakhansuri said.
Chakhansuri said most of the US forces – who will possibly be withdrawn from Afghanistan – are engaged in training and advise mission for Afghan forces and that Afghan forces are capable of defending the country.