White House: Trump to Announce Over 4,000 Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Drawdown will take place over next few months

White House officials say President Trump will soon make an announcement of a withdrawal of 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan, with the troops to leave over the next few months. The Afghan government has confirmed that this is the case.

This announcement has been expected for some time, with Defense Secretary Mark Esper saying the drawdown would come with or without a peace deal with the Taliban. The US has paused the Taliban talks, so it appears it will be coming without a deal.

President Trump was said to be keen to have a troop reduction before the 2020 election from the sake of his campaign, and while the preference for many was to make this part of a deal ending the war, the US has struggled to keep itself in talks with the Taliban recently.

Officials say that they are confident that the war in Afghanistan can continue with the lower level of troops. The US strategy in Afghanistan is heavily based on airstrikes at this point anyhow, so ground troop levels have limited impact on day-to-day operations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.