US close to finalize the withdrawal of 4000 troops from Afghanistan
Image Credit: Reuters
The United States is close to reaching a decision to withdraw around 4000 troops from Afghanistan by Autumn, putting the number of troops in Afghanistan down to 4,500 from 8,600. This will put the number of troops to the lowest level ever since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Last July, US reduced its troops from 13,000 to 8,600 as part of the agreement. The deal for the withdrawal of 4000 troops from Afghanistan was discussed in a meeting in Doha, Qatar on February 29th, between the US and Taliban.
This news came out a day after a meeting was held between NATO secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US defense secretary Mark Esper.
‘We will also follow up on our discussion on Afghanistan. NATO will continue to adjust our presence in support of the peace process,’ Stoltenberg said to TOLO News last Friday.
The agreement stipulates that the US shall withdraw all of its troops by April 2021. This will occur provided that the Taliban meet some conditions, one of which is, that they prevent any terrorist groups from using Afghan lands to launch attacks on the US and its allies.
A reduction of troops below 8,600 would be ‘condition based’ according to Pentagon spokesman Major Rob Lodewick.