Pentagon Plans Afghan Drawdown, But Far Short of Trump’s Wishes

Officials say Trump remains unhappy with advisers resisting pullouts

While Pentagon officials have long dismissed reports of an Afghan drawdown as “rumors,” and the White House has said no specific orders were made yet, the Washington Post is quoting officials as saying that the Pentagon is in the process of drawing up plans for a partial withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

These officials also suggested President Trump was interested in a quick pullout of 7,000 troops, but that the Pentagon’s plans fall short of that both in size and time. It is expected the plan is a few thousand troops over a much longer period of time.

That’s just the Pentagon’s plan, of course. Officials concede that President Trump hasn’t specifically ordered anything, and could just as easily still demand something bigger. They also say Trump is continuing to complain that his advisers are advocating he stay in all these wars “forever.”

Whether that presages Trump defying his advisers and making a big announcement or not remains to be seen. So far, he has tended to ignore his own gut instinct to withdraw from countries like Afghanistan and has gone with military recommendations, but with the failures mounting he is clearly running out of patience with those recommendations to stay the course.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.