Obviously Afghanistan has been the primary focal point in the War on Terror since September 11, 2001 when the United States was attacked and about 3,000 people were murdered. The US government identified Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda organization based in and allied with the Taliban, the Islamic government in Afghanistan, as the perpetrators of the attacks. While political and military mistakes have been made in this 10 year conflict, we have been successful and destroying the violent Al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership and allowing a government friendly to its neighbors to hopefully evolve. This evolution will take time and be difficult, so our commitment should not waver, but our need for regular military forces in Afghanistan has ended. Continuing to watch and appropriately react to developments in Afghanistan will be an important political issue.

Trump Administration Is Considering Substantial Afghan Troop Drawdown

from The Wall Street Journal,

Drawdown could begin in several weeks, officials say.

The Trump administration is actively considering plans for a significant drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan that could begin in as soon as several weeks, multiple officials said, in the start of the conclusion of the 17-year U.S. war effort. Word of the plans came a day after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, an unexpected announcement that surprised many at the Pentagon. Under the plans being considered, troops could begin to return home from Afghanistan as early as January, officials said. Officials at the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command declined to comment. There are currently more than 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump announced Wednesday that he would pull all of the more than 2,000 American troops from Syria, a decision that wasn’t supported by the Pentagon or the State Department. “I think it shows how serious the president is about wanting to come out of conflicts,” a senior U.S. official said of how the Syria decision has affected his thinking on Afghanistan. “I think he wants to see viable options about how to bring conflicts to a close.”

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