- The Trump administration is reportedly considering withdrawing as many as 3,000 troops from the 14,000 currently deployed to Afghanistan, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- News of a possible drawdown comes just one day after the president unexpectedly announced the complete withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
The Trump administration is reportedly considering withdrawing thousands of troops from Afghanistan, according to media reports.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the administration is looking at plans to withdraw as many as 3,000 of the 14,000 US troops serving in Afghanistan. The drawdown could begin in a matter of weeks, as early as January, according to the plans.
Administration officials told CNN that they are “bracing” for the president to order troops to begin pulling out of Afghanistan, where the US has been waging war for nearly two decades. The officials cautioned that a final decision has not yet been made, but one is certainly anticipated.
News of a possible drawdown in Afghanistan comes just one day after the president announced that US troops are leaving Syria, claiming that ISIS has been defeated.
“We have won against ISIS,” Trump said in a video message Wednesday, that sparked controversy by invoking the approval of fallen American soldiers. “We’ve beaten them, and we’ve beaten them badly. We’ve taken back the land. And, now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”
The president has previously expressed frustration with the situation in Afghanistan, reportedly complaining this past summer that the US isn’t winning.
Recently, Trump told the Washington Post that the only reason the US is there is because experts tell him the US should be. “We’re there because virtually every expert that I have and speak to say if we don’t go there, they’re going to be fighting over here,” he explained.
Senior defence officials have repeatedly characterised the conflict in Afghanistan as a “stalemate,” one that continues to claim the lives of US and coalition troops with no clear end in sight.