Trump Is Pulling U.S. Troops From Afghanistan Despite No Peace Deal With Taliban
The Trump administration has begun pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan despite failing to secure a formal peace deal with the Taliban, according to The Hill.
The New York Times initially reported that Gen. Austin S. Miller, the top American commander in Afghanistan, said on Monday that troop levels in the country dropped by 2,000 over the past two years, leaving about 12,000 currently.
That number is likely to drop further — to about 8,600 — The Hill said, according to Afghan and U.S. officials. Prior to President Donald Trump abandoning negotiations with Taliban officials in September, a draft agreement cited a similar number of American troops to remain in the country.
Miller said 8,600 troops is the minimum required to continue U.S. support of the Afghan military.
After Trump began removing troops from northern Syrian earlier this month, making way for a Turkish incursion into the region, Taliban officials reportedly began paying close attention.
“The U.S. follows its interests everywhere, and once it doesn’t reach those interests, it leaves the area. The best example of that is the abandoning of the Kurds in Syria,” Khairullah Khairkhwa, a senior negotiator for the Taliban, said, according to an interview posted on the group’s website. “It’s clear the Kabul administration will face the same fate.”