Graham says Trump could withdraw thousands of US troops from Afghanistan this week


The partial withdrawal shall be seen as a key concession to the Taliban.

December 16, 2019, 7: 35 PM

6 min study

Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Monday that PresidentDonald Trumpwill state the partial withdrawal of hundreds of U.S. troops fromAfghanistanthis week.

All over a consult with to Kabul, the South Carolina Republican said the president may per chance per chance well well decrease troop ranges from about 13,000 to eight,600 — a resolve that Trump publiclyexpressed improve forthis past August.

The White Residence declined to comment.

The president has long advocated for a low cost in the series of American forces in Afghanistan and the Center East. Most just now now not too long previously, he told carrier members all over a surprise Thanksgiving consult with to Bagram Air Rotten, one of the best U.S. scandalous in Afghanistan, that he would “decrease” forces there “very substantially.”

But the partial withdrawal shall be seen as a key concession to the Taliban by making positive Trump’s intent to drag all troops out of the country, presumably undermining the U.S. negotiating space following the initial crumple of peace talks this tumble.

In an announcement, U.S. Forces Afghanistan said that they had now now not bought orders to diminish troops ranges.

Earlier this month, Protection Secretary Ticket Esper said that lowering forces is now now not contingent on a peace model out the Taliban, announcing that there modified into a “marked enchancment” in the performance of Afghan Security Forces which can per chance well well be “main the manner” against extremist teams love the Taliban and ISIS with U.S. improve.

“The commander feels assured we are in a position to head down to a decrease stage with out jeopardizing our skill to be definite that Afghanistan would now not change into a safe haven for terrorism,” Esper told the Reagan Protection Forum on Dec. 7.

The secretary said he’s in need of the reduction in say to “reallocate” U.S. troops to the Asia-Pacific remark to deter aggressive actions by China.

But any method down of U.S. forces would come with out an agreement between U.S. negotiators, led by particular envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban. Those talks nearly reached a final agreement in September earlier than Trump invited the militant crew to Camp David, rescinded, tweeted about it, and declared talks “needless.”

This month, the two aspects restarted negotiations, with a State Department legit telling ABC News, “The level of hobby of debate shall be reduction of violence that outcomes in intra-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire.”

As an change, the talks took a damage final Thursday after a Taliban assault the day prior on an deserted medical facility exterior Bagram. Khalilzad said he “expressed outrage” to Taliban negotiators and all aspects agreed to “a handy e book a rough cease for them to consult their management on this crucial subject” of a low cost in violence.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen made no mention of that in his readout, announcing the meetings had been “appropriate and definite” and would resume after “a few days’ breaks and consultations.”

A corpulent U.S. withdrawal has been a sticking level of negotiations. While the Taliban are nerve-racking all U.S. troops lunge away the country, some U.S. officers are pushing for a residual counter terrorism power.

The timeline of that withdrawal is also a key field, with the U.S. pushing for the militant crew to take a seat down to talks with the Afghan govt earlier than all troops are out — and The US’s strongest portion of leverage is gone.

Nineteen American carrier members had been killed in Afghanistan in 2019, making it the deadliest one year for U.S. forces there in five years.

ABC News

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