Washington DC, August 30: President Donald Trump has said on Thursday the United States finalized its plan to reduce the number of American troops stationed in Afghanistan to 8,600 from 14,000 but not completely withdraw from the war-ravaged nation, and will make further determination afterward.
Trump’s statement came as Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, resumed talks with the Taliban in Doha, the Qatari capital, to pave a way to a resolution to put an end to the 18-year-old civil war and crisis in Afghanistan.
“Who knows if it’s going to happen?” Trump told Fox News Radio’s The Brian Kilmeade Show.
However, he didn’t propose any timeline for withdrawing forces. The Pentagon has been making efforts to develop plans to pull half of the 14,000 American troops out of the region, but the insurgent group seeks all American and NATO forces withdrawan completely.
The US president also said if terror groups ever attempted to target America from Afghan soil then “we will come back with a force as they’ve never seen before”, adding, “I don’t see that happening.”
US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Joseph Dunford has said on Wednesday it was too early to think about the full withdrawal of American forces from the war-torn nation. He told Pentagon reporters any peace deal with the insurgent group would be based over security grounds.
“I’m not using the ‘withdraw’ word right now,” Dunford said. “It’s our judgment that the Afghans need support to deal with the level of violence” in the nation today.