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.
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