World: Premature exit from Afghanistan would be 'strategic mistake': U.S. general - PressFrom - US

WorldPremature exit from Afghanistan would be 'strategic mistake': U.S. general

19:15  11 july  2019
19:15  11 july  2019 Source:

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WASHINGTON — All American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan over the next three to five years under a new Pentagon plan being offered in peace negotiations that could lead to a government in Kabul that shares power with the Taliban.

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Premature exit from Afghanistan would be 'strategic mistake': U.S. general © Reuters/LEAH MILLIS U.S. Army General Milley testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A premature withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan would be a strategic mistake, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the top military officer said on Thursday, as the United States and Taliban make progress to end the nearly 18 years of war.

"I think pulling out prematurely would be a strategic mistake," General Mark Milley, currently the Army's chief of staff and nominee to head the joint chiefs of staff, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

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“The future of Afghanistan must be decided by Afghans .” Republican critics in Congress said that even though Mr. Obama accepted the recommendation of his generals to leave behind a substantial residual force, the rigid deadline for the troops’ departure could expose Afghanistan to the same

With fewer than 10,000 US troops left in in Afghanistan , mostly working as trainers, the Afghanistan war continues to drag on into its 16th consecutive year, with no end in sight.

Milley said he believed the war would eventually be brought to an end through a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. He added that there was "some progress" in that effort.

The United States and the Taliban are getting closer to a deal that is expected to be centered on a U.S. promise to withdraw troops in exchange for a Taliban promise not to let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism, officials say.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Decorated soldier dies in combat operations in Afghanistan.
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