US Expected to Pull 1,000 Troops From Afghanistan in ‘Efficiency Effort’

No deals on drawdown, efficiency may still serve as an excuse to cut levels

Literally one day after interim US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan promised that there would be no drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan without NATO approval, officials are telling reporters that a cut of 1,000, or even more, troops is about to be announced.

This cut in troops would be done is part of an “efficiency drive” that the new commander wants to launch in Afghanistan. This would present it as belt-tightening, not a military drawdown as part of a deescalation.

President Trump appears keen for a deescalation at any rate, given how poorly the war is going, and is putting his backing behind the peace talks with the Taliban, which if successful might lead to an outright withdrawal.

Given how many hawks within the administration and Congress are opposed to drawdowns on any terms, this might be an ideal alternative for President Trump, who can make at least some troop cuts without having to call them cuts.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of