U.S President Trump has revealed plans to cut the number of US troops deployed to Afghanistan, but he did not provide a timetable for the drawdown.
“We’re going down to 8,600 and then we’ll make a determination from there as to what happens,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Radio. “We’re reducing that presence very substantially and we’re going to always have a presence.”
The statement comes as the United States and Taliban have been talking over the last year in an effort to find an end to the 18-year conflict, the US’ longest-ever war.
Reducing the US troops to 8,600 would bring the total down to approximately the same level it was at when Trump arrived in the White House in January 2017. US troop numbers reached a peak of about 100,000 in 2011.
According to the NATO/Resolute Support mission, the US had 9000 troops in Afghanistan in 2016, during the Obama administration, and 8000 in 2017.
If terror groups ever attacked America from Afghanistan again, “we will come back with a force like they’ve never seen before,” Trump said.