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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