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article imageTrump confirms withdrawal of 4,000 troops from Afghanistan

By Ken Hanly     Aug 5, 2020 in Politics
In a recent Axios interview, Present Trump again announced that he intended to withdraw another 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the time of the November US election. He estimates that 4 or 5 thousand will remain.
Pentagon officials announced cuts were planned some time ago.
The US Taliban peace deal
The US and the Taliban
signed a peace deal at the end of January. In accordance with the deal the US has already reduced it troop presence in Afghanistan down to 8,600 from 14,000. There is to be a complete US withdrawal by 14 months or next May 1. The Pentagon insists that any further withdrawal is conditional upon the Taliban keeping their end of the agreement which is basically to ensure that Afghanistan is not used as a base by any terrorist groups to threaten the security of the US or its allies.
Trump anxious to cut US troop levels in Afghanistan.
He promised to do so in his campaign for president. The peace deal with the Taliban furthered his desire for withdrawal and he believes that a further troop withdrawal will help his re-election campaign in November. Trump can counter any criticism by noting that he still has thousands of troops in the country and is not in violation of the treaty with the Taliban. He should be able to accommodate to some extent both hawks and doves. So far US drawdowns are ahead of schedule even though peace seems still in the future as far as conflict between the Afghan government and the Taliban are concerned.
Trump has stressed that the Afghan war has gone on much too long, almost two decades, and would like to see it end as soon as possible.
Ceasefire between Taliban and Afghan government over the recent holiday
The Afghan government has been slow in meeting the terms of a prisoner swap that was part of the Taliban US agreement.
The Taliban and Afghan government
were able to negotiate a ceasefire over the recent three day Eid Al-Adha holiday. Talks will probably resume some time this week and the prisoner swap is almost complete. Conditions appear favorable for a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
More about US Afghan relations, US troops in Afghanistan, afghanistan civil war
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