Trump Confirms 4,000 US Troops to Withdraw From Afghanistan by November Vote

Says 4,000 to 5,000 will be left after pullout

As part of his Axios interview, President Trump reiterated plans to cut another 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the November election, saying he estimates 4,000 or 5,000 will be left after that. Pentagon officials announced planned cuts awhile ago.

Trump has been wanting to cut US troops from Afghanistan since the peace deal was worked out, and was particularly interested in removing much of the force before the election. At the same time, it seems unlikely he’ll get all US troops out by then.

It’s not impossible, however. US drawdowns have been way ahead of schedule in Afghanistan, despite intra-Afghan talks being rather slow. The question is if the US wants to finish up by then or simply get close enough.

Trump has played on the 19 years in Afghanistan being too long, and it is hopeful that it might come to an end. At the same time, the Pentagon emphasizes any cuts are “conditions-based.”

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.