US Congress averting Trump’s troop withdrawal decision

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KABUL: US Congress is making efforts to restrict the Pentagon’s decision to reduce troop levels to 2,500 by early January in Afghanistan, revealed a report on Friday.


The US lawmakers are reportedly preventing the outgoing US administration from reducing troop levels in Afghanistan and Germany before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on 20 January 2021.


The House and Senate members are slated to send two provisions about US troop decisions as part of the National Defense Authorization Act to seek President Donald Trump’s endorsement. The provisions aim at preventing Pentagon from following through with troop reductions.


The lawmakers are pushing to prevent Pentagon not to go below 4,000. The bill awaits Pentagon, State Department, and national intelligence’s detailed pondering over how this move would affect threats to the US and the counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan.


 “The conferees note the South Asia strategy emphasizes the importance of a conditions-based United States presence in Afghanistan in support of ongoing diplomatic efforts to secure a peaceful, negotiated solution to the conflict,” lawmakers wrote.


“The conferees further note that any decision to reduce the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan should be done in an orderly manner and in coordination with United States allies and partners and the government of Afghanistan.”


This comes as the US administration announced to cut down troop levels to 2,500 by mid-January 2021. The US troops also notified about retaining two huge bases in Afghanistan as they plan to withdraw from the war-devastated country by May next year – part of the US-Taliban peace deal signed in Doha.


Meanwhile, NATO has also voiced concern about the US decision on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.