US troops down to 2500 in Afghanistan

The number of US troops stationed inside Afghanistan is now just 2500, in accordance with the earlier announcement by US Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller to reduce the number by 15 January

Jan 16, 2021
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The number of US troops stationed inside Afghanistan is now just 2500, in accordance with the earlier announcement by US Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller to reduce the number by 15 January.

On Friday, the US Department of Defense released a statement announcing the completion of the drawdown. “With a force of 2,500, commanders have what they need to keep America, our people, and our interests safe,” said Christopher Miller.

He further said, "Working alongside our NATO allies and partners, the United States will continue to execute both our counterterrorism mission and the train, advise and assist mission in support of Afghan Security Forces working to secure peace in their country."

Miller also described the continued drawdown as the support for the Afghan Peace Process and the country’s commitment to stick with the US-Taliban Deal and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration.

Miller, however, said any future drawdown to zero by May 2021 remained conditional. 

Significantly, the US continued reducing its troops in the country while on the other hand, the Taliban has kept increasing its attacks. The increased violence level runs counter to the commitment the Taliban made in the US-Taliban deal to reduce the violence. 

In just four days now, Joe Biden will take charge of the US presidency, and experts say Afghanistan would be the first and immediate foreign policy dilemma for his administration.

The decision on whether to proceed with full foreign forces withdrawal will surely have significant implications on the ongoing Intra-Afghan talks between the Taliban and the government. On the other hand, full withdrawal with no sign of the reduction of violence by the Taliban risks another civil war in the country.

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