"Acting Pentagon chief dismissed for aversion to troop withdrawal from Afghanistan"


KABUL: US ex-Defense Secretary Mark Esper has reportedly been fired due to his opposition to the pullout of additional U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a media report stated on Saturday.

In a confidential memo to the White House, he articulated his concerns regarding a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, days before Trump discharged him.

On Monday, Mark Esper was fired by President Donald Trump, from his high-ranking position via Twitter, and the reason behind the move, revealed on Friday, was that Esper supposedly pushed back on the President’s stance on withdrawal from the region. 

According to the Washington Post, Esper’s dispatch conveyed hesitancy towards pulling out troops amid various factors, comprising undercutting U.S.-Afghanistan negotiations and the potential fallout on allies. 

The memo had also noted that Taliban-perpetrated violence and attacks grew by 50 percent. 

If the U.S. performed a quick pullout from Afghanistan, “dangers could fall on the remaining troops,” Esper reportedly wrote. 

This comes as the US-Taliban deal, which was inked in February, stipulates full foreign and US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by May next year.