CNNwarns“officials brace for Trump announcement on Afghanistan” after Trump’s Wednesday bombshell Syria troop pullout announcement.
He’s now initiated “a major drawdown” of forces in Afghanistantoo, and while inside the beltway neocon heads might continue to explode, the broader public for which the seventeen year long Afghan war is deeply unpopularwill no doubt cheer the move. And alreadyNBC reports Thursday eveningbased on defense sources the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans presenting “multiple options” including a “complete withdrawal”. Following the “options” order it now appearsTrump has pulled the trigger and “ordered the start of a reduction of American forces in Afghanistan”according to abreaking WSJ report:
More than 7,000 American troops will begin to return home from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, a U.S. official said.The move will come as thefirst stage of a phased drawdownand the start of a conclusion to the 17-year war that officials say could take at least many months. There now are more than 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Further theWSJ reports it marks “the start ofa total pulloutthat could take at least many months.”
The major reduction of U.S. troops in the country will beginas soon as within several weeks, according to sources cited in The Wall Street Journal. Currently there are about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan in continuation of a NATO advise, train and assist mission as part of the longest running war in United States history.
Trump reportedly stoked “anger and confusion” among some lawmakers and Pentagon officials over his Syria pullout decision; however, he appears to be sticking to hisprior “bring the troops home” promises made on the campaign trailin 2016. In a series of Tweets, the president defended the 180 degree shift in Syria policy, which as of only less than a week ago was was expressed by US special envoy for Syria, Ambassador James Jeffrey, as “countering Iran”.
In a Thursday Tweet that could have just as well been about Afghanistan, Trump stated: “So hard to believe that Lindsey Graham would be against saving soldier lives & billions of $$$.”And added, “Time to focus on our Country &bring our youth back home where they belong!”