KABUL: The U.S. military has reduced its troops’ number to 2500 in Afghanistan by Friday (today), a drawdown that meets the stipulations of the US-Taliban peace deal but goes against the country’s Congressional decision.
President Donald Trump, who ordered the decrease in November, on Thursday said that troop numbers had hit a 19-year low in Afghanistan; however, he did not discuss the current number of U.S. troops in the country.
“I will always be committed to stopping the endless wars,” President Trump said while referring to U.S. wars that have been going on since 2001 in Afghanistan.
While senior military officials had warned against drastic troop reductions in Afghanistan, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller declared on Nov. 17 that the U.S. President’s order was/is being enforced.
As a result, military commanders have rushed to pull more than 1,500 troops out of the region in the last few weeks, according to Associated Press.
However, under the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress two weeks ago, the Pentagon was explicitly forbidden to use money from this year’s or last year’s budget on reducing the number of troops below 4,000
Meanwhile, there are various concerns about Afghanistan faced by President-elect Joe Biden, who has proposed retaining a small counterterrorism presence in Afghanistan to ensure that terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida are unable to mount attacks on the United States.
On the other hand, the Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stressed that it was unlikely that the forthcoming inauguration of Joe Biden as new U.S. President would result in the removal of the United States from the Doha peace agreement.