US troops in Afghanistan should be ‘home by Christmas’: Trump

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All United States (US) troops in Afghanistan should be “home by Christmas,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, just hours after his national security adviser said Washington would reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 2 500 by early in 2021.

A landmark deal between the US and the Taliban in February said foreign forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula with the Afghan government.

Trump and other officials have said the US will go down to between 4000 and 5000 troops in Afghanistan around November.

Beyond that, officials have said that a reduction will depend on conditions in Afghanistan.

On Twitter, Trump said: “We should have the small remaining number of our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!”

It was unclear whether Trump was giving an order or verbalizing a long-held aspiration.

Trump, who is seeking re-election next month, has made walking away from “ridiculous endless wars” the cornerstone of his foreign policy, even though thousands of troops remain in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The Taliban, fighting to expel foreign forces and re-establish their Islamic state since their ouster in 2001, welcomed Trump’s comments.

Source: sabcnews