US President Donald Trump has said that the US troops will drop to 8,600 in Afghanistan after a deal with Taliban is reached. There are currently about 14,000 US troops in the country.
After about two decades of military presence in Afghanistan, the US will scale down troop levels in the country to 8,600, US President Donald Trump has averred. He further said that US will keep a permanent presence in the country.
“We’re going down to 8,600 and then we make a determination from there,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re always going to have a presence,” he added. He further said that if there is another attack on the United States from Afghanistan, “we would come back with a force like… never before.”
The United States first sent its military troops to Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, which was carried out by al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was at that time sheltered by the former Taliban regime.
Washington has been negotiating for a deal with Taliban since 2018. Trump avowed that the troops will be reduced only after Taliban guarantees that Al-Qaeda or other international militant group will not use the territory.
While the Taliban wants withdrawal of all US military troops from Afghanistan, Trump has underlined that there will be US troops in the country that would provide “high intelligence.” “You have to keep a presence,” he said.
A State Department spokesman asserted, “We’re well aware of the history of the Taliban… and its complicated history with Al-Qaeda, which is exactly why any deal, if one is reached, will be so stringently monitored and verified”. “The agreement we’re working on is not based on trust — it will be based on clear requirements and commitments, subject to our monitoring and verification,” he added.