Trump says US troops in Afghanistan ought to be ‘house by Christmas’
U.S. Military photograph
It was unclear if Trump, who’s in search of reelection subsequent month, was giving an order through tweet or reiterating a long-held marketing campaign promise so as to attraction to voters.
The Taliban welcomed Trump’s announcement, saying it was a constructive step towards a peace settlement.
Earlier this yr, the United States brokered a peace take care of the Taliban that will usher in a everlasting cease-fire and cut back the U.S. navy’s footprint from roughly 13,000 to eight,600 by mid-July. And by Could 2021, all international forces would go away the war-torn nation.
Trump’s tweet Wednesday got here on the nineteenth anniversary of the beginning of the warfare in Afghanistan, which has dragged on to change into America’s longest battle.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump’s nationwide safety advisor gave a extra conservative timeline for decreasing U.S. forces.
“When President Trump took workplace, there have been over 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan,” Robert O’Brien stated in a nationwide safety speech on the regulation faculty of the College of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“As of right this moment, there are underneath 5,000 and that can go to 2,500 by early subsequent yr,” he stated.
The Nationwide Safety Council, White Home and Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark for readability on the administration’s drawdown timeline in Afghanistan.
Trump, at present confined within the White Home for therapy after testing constructive for the coronavirus, has beforehand directed the Pentagon to scale back the U.S. preventing power in battle zones.
In 2018, Trump tweeted that the USA can be withdrawing troops out of Syria, a transfer that despatched a shock wave via the Pentagon and contributed partially to the resignation of then-Protection Secretary James Mattis. Trump later reversed his choice to withdraw from Syria.
In Could, Trump complained on Twitter that America’s function in Afghanistan has been decreased to a “police power” and never a “preventing power.”
When requested concerning the tweet by reporters throughout a White Home occasion, Trump stated that the U.S. might return to Afghanistan if wanted.
“We will at all times return if we now have to. If we now have to return, we’ll return, and we’ll return raging,” Trump stated in Could.
The collective wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have value U.S. taxpayers greater than $1.57 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001, in keeping with a Protection Division report.
The present U.S. navy operations, designated Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq, and Operation Noble Eagle, have accounted for $266 billion of that sum.
Of the three present operations, Freedom’s Sentinel takes the lion’s share of prices at $193 billion.