AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: The United States is looking to leave roughly 4,000 to 5,000 troops in Afghanistan by November.
The US President Donald Trump in an interview broadcast on Monday night said that by November Election Day troop levels in Afghanistan will be down to between 4,000 and 5,000.
Trump told Axios he will reduce American troop levels in Afghanistan down to about 4,000 “very soon”.
He said: “We are largely out of Afghanistan”.
“We’ll be down in a very short period of time to 8,000, then we’re going to be down to 4,000, we’re negotiating right now”, he said adding that the US had been there now for 19 years and we will be getting out.
Refusing to give a date as to when the additional drawdown of troops would be done, he was then asked how many US troops would still be in Afghanistan on Election Day in November.
Trump said “anywhere between four and five thousands.”
In question regarding long-standing rumors of Russia supplying the Taliban with weapons, Trump said he had heard that but again “it’s never reached his desk”.
He also said “Russia doesn’t want anything to do with Afghanistan” and stated the old Soviet Union had gone bankrupt because of its involvement in Afghanistan.
“The last thing that Russia wants to do is to get too much involved in Afghanistan. They tried that once and it didn’t work out too well,” he said.
This comes after reports emerged in June of Russia offering bounty payments to the Taliban to kill US troops.
Last month the top US general overseeing operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan told CNN that the intelligence concerning Russian operatives offering bounties to the Taliban was “very worrisome” but that the information wasn’t solid enough to hold up in a court of law.
General Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, also said he was not convinced that the Russian bounty program was directly responsible for the deaths of US personnel.
But former US officials have said whether or not bounties were paid, Moscow has been a thorn in Washington’s side for years with regards to Afghanistan.