Trump’s reduction of US forces in Afghanistan ‘poorly planned’ – US Lawmaker

US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw half of the US forces in Afghanistan lacks proper strategy, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Congressman Eliot Engel said on Friday. “This rash and poorly planned action is also a betrayal of our men and women in uniform, of our allies and partners who have fought alongside us for 17 years, and of the Afghan people,” Engel said.

Engel pointed out Trump’s South Asia strategy promise last year, when he said that the withdrawal of US troops would be based on the conditions in the country. The congressman added that the conditions that made Trump initiate the drawdown in Afghanistan now are unclear.

Engel said the troop reduction would not benefit US attempts to advance peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The decision will instead allow US adversaries, such as Russia and Iran, to increase their influence in the region, the congressman said. On Thursday, Trump has ordered a reduction of half of the 14,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan. The soldiers are expected to return home in the coming weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed officials.

The full drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan could take at least many months, the report added.
Afghanistan has long been suffering from an unstable political, social and security situation due to the activity of various terrorist and radical groups. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, supported by a US-led coalition, are conducting joint offensive operations to combat terrorism across the country.

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