WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump is expected to give a formal order within a week on withdrawing more troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, according to sources, before handing office to democrat president-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
The Pentagon has issued a notice to commanders – known as a ‘warning order’ – to begin planning the downscaling of US soldiers to 2,500 in each of Afghanistan and Iraq by January 15, officials told CNN.
While Trump has repeatedly tweeted on its forces withdrawal from Afghanistan by Christmas, critique warns a quick withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country would “hurt” allies.
“There’s no American who does not wish the war in Afghanistan against terrorists and their enablers had already been conclusively won,” said Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, as quoted by The National.
“But that does not change the actual choice before us now,” he added. “A rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm.”
Last week, Trump fired his defense secretary Mark Esper after long-standing concerns that his priorities were not being dealt with urgently enough at the defense department, according to report.
Both the US and Afghan government warn of troubling level of violence by the Taliban insurgents and their ties with Al-Qaeda terrorist groups, amid ongoing peace talks in Qatari capital Doha that aspire to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Following 9/11 attacks, carried out by Al-Qaeda, on the United States killed about 3,000 people, former president George W Bush ordered US military intervention in Afghanistan to topple the perpetrators and the Taliban insurgents.