Sources: Trump may confine himself to a partial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
Reportedly, the new leadership of the Pentagon has not yet issued orders for the complete withdrawal of troops.
The new leadership of the Pentagon has not yet announced preparations for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, in connection with which the allies hope that this year President Donald Trump can limit himself to a partial reduction of the contingent, sources say..
Trump sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper last week amid long-standing fears that the Pentagon is not responding quickly enough to his instructions..
In particular, this concerns the plans to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan by Christmas. Opponents of protracted conflict hailed the plan, but Trump critics called the move irresponsible..
An anonymous senior Pentagon source told Reuters that Afghanistan has been discussed on several occasions in the course of telephone conversations with the acting Acting President. Defense Secretary Christopher Miller with colleagues from other countries.
“This issue is of great importance for our NATO allies, our allies in the region, as well as for the global security and defense of our country,” the source said..
However, the source expressed the opinion that Trump will not withdraw troops faster than the situation in Afghanistan allows..
US and Afghan officials warn of increased Taliban violence and strong Taliban ties to al-Qaida.
Some military officials have privately urged Trump not to withdraw all troops yet, recommending that about 4,500 troops remain in Afghanistan..
“The President is acting competently. He never said that the contingent should be reduced to zero tomorrow. This process has always been carried out taking into account the conditions in the country, and it continues, “- said a senior source in the Ministry of Defense, without going into details..
The White House refrained from comment.
On October 7, the president tweeted: “The few American troops left in Afghanistan need to be back home by Christmas.”.
However, according to officials, no orders have yet been issued on the withdrawal of troops. They also note that it would be difficult to implement this plan, given that NATO allies rely on US logistical support..
An anonymous source in NATO believes that the reduction of the American contingent to 2,500-3,000 troops by Christmas may soon be announced..
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said last month that the contingent will be reduced to 2,500 by early 2021..
Miller, in a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, spoke not about the complete withdrawal of troops, but about the reduction of the contingent.
In an address to US military personnel released over the weekend, Miller supported Trump’s drive to bring the US military home, but did not elaborate on the expected timetable and stressed the need to end the fight against al Qaeda..
“We are on the verge of defeating Al Qaeda and its accomplices, but we must not repeat the past strategic mistake without bringing the struggle to an end,” Miller wrote..