The former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has said the withdrawal of half of 7,000 U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan could jeopardize the peace efforts, warning that the move would reduce the incentive for the Taliban negotiate a peace deal after more than 17 years of war.
“If you tell the Taliban that we are absolutely leaving on date certain, cutting down, weakening ourselves, their incentives to try to cut a deal drop dramatically,” McChrystal said on ABC’s “This Week.”
McChrystal further added that he’s worried that the Afghan people will lose confidence in the U.S. as an ally that can be counted on.
This comes as reports had emerged earlier suggesting that the U.S. President Donald Trump is mulling withdrawal of more than five thousand troops from the country.
However, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Military Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford last week said that the mission for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan continues as planned.
“There’s all kinds of rumors swirling around,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford was quoted as saying in a report by Stars and Stripes.
Speaking to U.S. soldiers at a USO celebrity holiday event on Monday, Gen. Dunford said “The mission you have today is the same as the mission you had yesterday.”
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller had earlier told reporters that orders of a pullout had not yet reached the leadership here.