WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said that he intended to pull thousands of troops out of Afghanistan but would maintain a presence of 8,600 for now.
The US president said, “We are going down to 8,600, and then we make a determination from there as to what happens.”
Remarks from President Donald Trump came as the US is negotiating with the Taliban to reduce the roughly 14,000 American troops currently present in Afghanistan after nearly 18 years of war.
Trump told a US news channel, “We will make a determination, but we are going down to 8,600. USA have it very well controlled.”
Trump’s desire to reduce America’s military presence in Afghanistan has been fraught with political and military peril.
Some of Trump’s strongest supporters fear a US withdrawal will open the door for a resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said,”We may be in such a rush to remove our forces that we find ourselves on the cusp of a strategic blunder.”
He said, “Any deal that calls for withdrawing our forces completely from Afghanistan is a bad deal for the United States.”
US President Donald Trump has been considering a major withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan for months.