DOD surprised by Trump’s intent to accelerate U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan
According to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there is a situation in Afghanistan; a strategic impasse
The US military is implementing President Donald Trump‘s decision to reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops by January 15 next year. General Mark Milli, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, said this on Wednesday during a videoconference hosted by the Brookings Institution in Washington..
“The order has been given, and it is being carried out, we are in the process of implementing this decision right now,” emphasized Mark Milli.
“What happens after that will be a matter for the new administration,” he said, referring to President-elect Joe Biden, who is due to take office at the end of January next year..
The general believes that the US military, currently estimated at 4,500 in Afghanistan, has “largely” been successful in achieving its original goal of striking the al-Qaeda terrorist group after September 11, 2001. of the year.
According to Mark Milli, the United States, along with allies, launched an operation in Afghanistan in 2001 “to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a platform for terrorist attacks against the United States.”.
“We have largely, at least so far, managed to prevent a recurrence of such events,” Milli said. “We believe that now, after two decades of consistent efforts, we have achieved some success.”.
Earlier, Mark Milli made it clear that he does not share the opinion about the need to reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan..
In particular, in October this year, following statements by President Donald Trump and his National Security Assistant Robert O’Brien about the reduction of the American contingent in this country to 2.5 thousand people by the beginning of next year, Millie said in an interview with NPR that the conclusion must be carried out subject to a number of conditions, and that “the war must be ended responsibly”.
Speaking Wednesday during a videoconference at the Brookings Institution, General Milli described the situation in Afghanistan over the past five to seven years as a “strategic impasse” in which Afghan government forces and Taliban fighters cannot defeat each other..
The only way to end the war in Afghanistan, Milli notes, “in line with US national security priorities and the security needs of the region’s residents,” is through a negotiated settlement between Kabul and the Taliban..
According to the general, in connection with the negotiations on a peace agreement between the belligerents in Afghanistan, which are underway in Qatar, the Trump administration decided to reduce the number of US troops, which was about 13 thousand a year ago, to 2.5 thousand people by January 15.
Having reached this size in Afghanistan, Mark Milli said, the United States will maintain a “couple” of main bases and several smaller support bases in this country..
In early November, Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who, according to media reports, disagreed with the accelerated withdrawal schedule and drew up a memo to the president. Trump Appoints US National Counterterrorism Center Director Chris Miller as Acting Secretary of Defense, who supports plans to reduce troops in Afghanistan.
US allies expressed dissatisfaction with Washington’s decision to accelerate the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan.
In particular, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reacted with concern in October to statements made by the White House in this regard: “We have been in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, and none of the NATO allies wants to stay there longer than necessary. But at the same time, the price for a too early or uncoordinated withdrawal of troops will be very high “.
Reporter for the Russian Voice of America Service in Moscow. Collaborates with Voice of America since 2012. For a long time he worked as a correspondent and host of programs for the BBC Russian Service and Radio Liberty. Specialization – international relations, politics and legislation, human rights.
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