Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageSenate amendment on Afghan troop withdrawal defeated

By Ken Hanly     Jul 2, 2020 in Politics
US troop cuts in Afghanistan have brought the number of troops in the country to the lowest level since the US invaded back in 2002.
Senate votes down amendment that would support the pullout
The Senate debated an amendment to next year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, that would have added language supporting the pullout from the country. The amendment was handily defeated by a vote of 60 opposed with only 33 in favor. There could still be new amendments added to the NDAA at a later stage. The failure of the motion does not in any way prohibit the Trump administration from completing a pullout.
Agreement with the Taliban mandates total withdrawal
The agreement was signed
at the end of February. The US and its allies are required to withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan within 14 months of the signing of the agreement or by next May 1. However, this depends upon the Taliban keeping their end of the deal or as the Trump administration has noted the withdrawal is conditions based. Resistance to the amendment may be a sign that many lawmakers want to make it clear that any further withdrawal is contingent upon the Taliban meeting their obligations under the deal. Basically, the Taliban will prevent any group such as Al-Qaida, the Islamic State, or any other group from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the US or its allies.
US has met first withdrawal conditions early
As part of the withdrawal conditions in the agreement the US was required to get troop numbers down to 8,600 within 135 days of signing the agreement which would be about the middle of July. However, this target was met about mid-June. The reduction was from about 12,000 troops. However, Trump announced that he intends to withdraw another 4,000 troops. Trump has been opposed to US involvement in wars that he has sometimes said are useless. He may believe that withdrawing more troops will help him be re-elected in November. There will still be troops in Afghanistan and so he can avoid the accusation that he is withdrawing all troops too quickly. The presence of some troops may help the Taliban keep their part of the peace agreement.
The US Senate appears unwilling to approve language supporting the Afghan pullout even though it is 20 years into the war and they have failed to defeat the Taliban nor all jihadist groups.
More about Afghasn US relations, US troops in Afghanistan, Rand paul
More news from
Latest News
Top News