Gen. Votel: Conditions Don’t Merit US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Says Afghan forces are dependent on US coalition support

Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel took the very unusual step of publicly disagreeing with President Trump on the withdrawal from Syria. Now, with negotiations ongoing to possibly leave Afghanistan, the general is staking out a public position against that as well.

Testifying to the House Armed Services Committee, Gen. Votel said that he doesn’t believe the current political conditions in Afghanistan merit a US withdrawal at all, and that Afghan forces are still dependent on the US coalition.

At the same time, Votel distanced himself from reports of US plans to withdraw from Afghanistan within five years, saying there have been no orders to withdraw, and that there are no current plans to do so.

All indications are that the negotiations between the US and the Taliban hinge on a US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The US is said to be resisting Taliban pushes to have all 14,000 US troops out within a year, though clearly the Taliban believes five years is much too long, and the sooner the better.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of