United States considers significant Afghanistan troop withdrawal
22 December, 2018, 14:45 | Author: Ted Wilson
Afghan security forces can defend the country, Haroon Chakhansuri, President Ashraf Ghani's spokesman, told local media. The Afghan government is under heavy pressure to restore security and take back territory controlled by a number of insurgent groups, including the Taliban and IS.
Shaima Dabeer, a 50-year-old housewife in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, said she feared for the future of her children.
Afghan officials put up a courageous face, with an adviser to President Ashraf Ghani writing on Twitter that the USA decision "will not affect our security".
The withdrawal increases the risk of an Islamic State resurgence in Deir al-Zour province, and removes the USA ground-based capability to monitor Iranian and Hizbullah supply lines from Iraq into Syria.
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Trump has long criticized the deployment of USA troops to hotspots in the Middle East and Asia, and on the campaign trail vowed to end American involvement in the wars of his predecessors.
Both cabinet officials, Graham said, emphasized that the national security community and Trump's own advisers cautioned the president against the decision to leave Syria.
The surprise move stunned and dismayed foreign diplomats and officials in Kabul who are involved in an intensifying push to end the 17-year conflict.
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Speaking in an interview for Afghan TV hours before withdrawal plans were announced, Khalilzad noted Trump had campaigned for president on a promise to end the Afghan war, which has already cost Americans almost $1 trillion.
The US eventually killed Bin Laden and American-led combat operations against the group officially ended in 2014.
"There was little doubt that Amb". Two administration officials told CNN that Trump wants the plans drawn up in hopes he could announce the drawdown in his State of the Union speech, which is traditionally at the end of January or early February.
There are 14,000 USA troops in Afghanistan, thousands of whom will be withdrawn, officials told AFP and Reuters news agencies.
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However, the Taliban are stronger today than they have been since their ouster in 2001. The army is riddled with failing equipment, poor reinforcements movement and even food shortage. "It has rattled the world", Graham added Thursday, warning that withdrawal would mean the return of terror groups like ISIS, which rose from the ashes of the USA war in Iraq and increased threats to the USA homeland: "We have two choices to fight this war, in their backyard or in our backyard".
The US commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson (R) talks with soldiers in the Afghan province of Helmand on 29 April 2017. Their ouster of the Taliban returned to power former warlords, whose bitter infighting and runaway corruption had resulted in vast tracts of the capital Kabul being destroyed and given rise to the Taliban, who used a strict and harsh interpretation of Islam to restore calm to the country.
Afghan forces have been taking what experts describe as "unsustainable" casualties since North Atlantic Treaty Organisation pulled its combat forces from the country in 2014.
Three-quarters of the government will not be affected, since budget bills funding those operations had already been approved. ET, a GoFundMe page titled "We The People Will Fund The Wall " passed $11 million from almost 200,000 donors.
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