Reportedly, the new leadership of the Pentagon has not yet ordered the complete withdrawal of troops.
The new Pentagon leadership has not yet reported on preparations for the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and the Allies hope that this year’s President Donald Trump may limit himself to a partial drawdown, sources say.
Trump resigned Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week amid long-standing concerns that the Pentagon is not responding quickly enough to his instructions.
That includes plans to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan by Christmas. Opponents of the protracted conflict welcomed the plan, but Trump critics called it irresponsible.
An anonymous senior source at the Pentagon told Reuters that afghanistan was repeatedly discussed in phone conversations with acting defense minister christopher miller and colleagues from other countries.
“This issue is of great importance to our NATO allies, our allies in the region, as well as to global security and protection of our country,” the source said.
However, the source expressed the view that Trump will not withdraw faster than the situation in afghanistan allows.
u.s. and afghan officials have warned of increased Taliban violence and the Taliban’s strong ties to al-Qaida.
Some military officials have privately urged Trump not to withdraw all troops yet, recommending that about 4,500 troops remain in afghanistan.
“The president is acting wisely. He never said he needed to reduce the contingent to zero tomorrow. This process has always been done with the conditions in the country in mind, and it continues,” a senior source at the Defense Ministry said without going into detail.
The White House abstained from commenting.
On October 7 the president wrote in “Twitter”: “The few remaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan need to return home by Christmas.
Officials, however, said no withdrawal orders have been issued yet. They also note that the plan would be difficult to implement, given that naTo allies rely on u.s. logistical support.
An anonymous naTo source thinks it may soon be announced that the u.s. contingent will be reduced to 2,500-3,000 troops by christmas.
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said last month that the contingent will be reduced to 2,500 by early 2021.
Miller talked to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by phone about the drawdown, not the complete withdrawal.
In an address to the U.S. military last weekend, Miller supported Trump’s desire to bring the U.S. military home, but didn’t specify the anticipated timeline and stressed the need to complete the fight against al-Qaida.
“We’re on the verge of defeating al-Qaida and its associates, but we mustn’t make the same strategic mistake we made last week without bringing the fight to a close,” Miller wrote.