After weeks of Pentagon officials dismissing reports of a US drawdown
from Afghanistan as a “rumor,” Vice President Mike Pence is now
confirming that President Trump is indeed in “the process of evaluating” whether to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
This is unsurprising, as since summer, the ever-worsening situation on the ground in Afghanistan has had officials anticipating that the Trump Administration would review the 2017 escalation. Some at the Pentagon have been trying to talk them out of any drawdown.
By late December, there were reports that Trump had already ordered a drawdown of between 5,000 and 7,000 troops. Pentagon officials spent weeks denying this, but it was only in recent days that the White House said no such order had been made.
Having disavowed the order, Pence is now confirming that exactly such an order is being actively considered. There is no indication of when such a decision will be made, though the early false reports have aligned much of Congress against any such drawdown.
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