After his decision to immediately withdraw all US troops from Syria, President Donald Trump also ordered to drastically reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan. In the coming weeks, seven thousand US military personnel will return from the Asian country. The Washington Post writes this on the basis of sources from the government.
This is almost half of the total number of troops that the US has in Afghanistan. According to the newspaper, it is the first phase of what should ultimately lead to an end to the seventeen-year American presence in Afghanistan.
According to The Wall Street Journal, President Trump had ordered the Pentagon to initiate the departure in Afghanistan. The return of the soldiers would be spread over several weeks. The Ministry of Defence did not comment for the time being.
“I think this shows how serious the President is about to get out of conflicts,” says a senior government official in the newspaper.
Unlike in Syria, American troops in Afghanistan are part of a NATO mission. The withdrawal is therefore expected to have major consequences for America’s allies. It may also lead to a further destabilization of Afghanistan itself.
Trump has been asking for a long time to put an end to the US presence in Afghanistan, but was persuaded by his Defence Minister Jim Mattis not to rush into it. On the contrary, the American presence was strengthened last year. Mattis announced today, however, that he is leaving in February.
Meanwhile, the US are conducting peace talks with the Taliban.