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World U.S. has begun reducing troops in Afghanistan, commander says

16:00  21 october  2019
16:00  21 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talks

  Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talks Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as U.S. looks to kickstart Taliban talksEsper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.

The commander of U . S . and NATO forces in Afghanistan said the number of American troops in the country has been reduced by 2,000 Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of U . S . and NATO troops in Afghanistan , delivers remarks during a Resolute Support mission change of command ceremony in

The reduction , which officials say could gradually drop the number of troops by several thousand, is happening even without any deal In a news conference on Monday, the top American commander in Afghanistan , Gen. Austin S . Miller, confirmed that the size of the American force in the country had

KABUL —The United States has reduced its troop strength in Afghanistan over the past year, Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, announced Monday in a news conference in Kabul.

a man wearing a uniform: In this Sept. 2, 2018, photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Army Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, delivers remarks during a Resolute Support mission change of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson/AP)© AP In this Sept. 2, 2018, photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Army Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, delivers remarks during a Resolute Support mission change of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson/AP)

“Unbeknownst to the public as part of our optimization . . . we reduced our authorized strength by 2,000 here,” Miller said. The news conference was also attended by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, who is visiting Afghanistan for the first time since he took office.

Pentagon Chief Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan, and Pelosi Does the Same

  Pentagon Chief Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan, and Pelosi Does the Same KABUL, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper traveled to Afghanistan on Sunday, in his first visit to the country since being confirmed as Pentagon chief amid uncertainty about the administration’s strategy following the collapse of peace talks with the Taliban. His unannounced trip came weeks after the lead American negotiator during the talks, Zalmay Khalilzad, met informally with Taliban leaders in Islamabad, Pakistan, raising the possibility that negotiations might eventually resume. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

"Al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said that 23,000 of the The U . S . drawdown in Afghanistan began 13 July 2011 when the first 650 U . S . troops left Afghanistan as part of condition that the Afghan government reduce corruption before receiving all of the money.

Mr. Obama said the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan would free up resources to “The future of Afghanistan must be decided by Afghans .” Republican critics in Congress said that even Military commanders had recommended leaving at least 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for several

The reduction has occurred despite the scuttling of peace talks with the Taliban in September. Drawing down American forces in Afghanistan was a key demand of Taliban negotiators, and President Trump has repeatedly pledged to bring U.S. troops home from “endless wars” abroad.

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In a draft of a peace deal reached between U.S. and Taliban negotiators, the Trump administration said it was prepared to reduce the number of American troops to 8,600. Slightly more than 12,000 American troops are now deployed in Afghanistan.

“As we work in Afghanistan with our partners, we’re always looking to optimize the force,” Miller said. “I’m confident that we have the right capabilities to one reach our objectives as well as to continue train, advise and assist throughout the country.”

Pentagon chief says keeping some troops in northeastern Syria under discussion

  Pentagon chief says keeping some troops in northeastern Syria under discussion U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that keeping some U.S. troops in parts of northeastern Syria near oilfields with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to ensure the oil did not fall into the hand of Islamic State or others was one of the options that was being discussed, but no decision had been made. © REUTERS/Erin Scott U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has ordered the military to start withdrawing roughly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months, two defense officials said Thursday, an abrupt shift in the 17-year-old war there and a decision that stunned Afghan officials

past 30 days, Afghan National Army Commander Zaman Waziri said . 7, 2001: President George W. Bush announces that U . S . and British troops have begun striking Afghanistan for harboring the al-Qaida December 2006: Attention has shifted to the escalating war in Iraq; the force in Afghanistan

Army Col. Sonny Leggett, a U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, said the reduction was “an aggregate drop since General Miller took command” and not part of the drawdown to 8,600 American troops.

“General Miller is doing exactly what I asked all our commanders to do when I entered office,” Esper said at the news conference. “I’m asking them to look where they can free up time, money and manpower,” Esper said, so the Pentagon can focus on countering China and Russia in line with the country’s national defense strategy. He said countering terrorism and extremism “is also part of that priority list.”

Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban have not formally restarted, but the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan met with Taliban leaders in Pakistan earlier this month. The negotiators worked for more than a year to reach a deal before it was scuttled, but many officials in Kabul and Washington caution that the efforts are merely on hold.

Nearly 2,400 American troops have died in the Afghanistan since the United States intervened in 2001, and more than 20,000 have been wounded, according to the Pentagon.

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