Donald Trump has announced on Twitter that he wants to bring all US troops back from Afghanistan by Christmas – a plan that has come as a surprise to administration officials and has put it in jeopardy in the light of complex peace.
Several officials told the Associated Press that they had not been notified of any such deadline, and military experts said it would be impossible to withdraw all 5,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan and dismantle U.S. military headquarters by the end of the year.
They suggested that the president’s claim was intended to remove the news cycle from coronavirus coverage and that the Pentagon would not act on the basis of the order before the Nov. 3 U.S. election.
The announcement, however, was greeted with enthusiasm by the Taliban on Thursday. If Trump follows, the militant group will certainly claim it as a victory, after decades of continuing to fight as a fight against foreign aggression.
“It is not surprising that the Taliban welcomed Trump’s announcement that he would bring in troops by Christmas. They spent 19 years fighting for it, “said Ashley Jackson, director of the ODI Center for the Study of the Armed Group.
“This is the last contribution the United States has made to negotiations with the Taliban, and Trump is offering it for free.”
Without the possibility of U.S. military pressure, the Taliban would have little incentive to stay at the negotiating table with representatives of the Kabul government.
From a practical standpoint, it would take more than two months to dismantle a 19-year military presence.
“It’s October, isn’t it – it’s ridiculous. That just can’t happen, “said Jason Dempsey, a former infantry officer in Afghanistan. We need a uniformed headquarters. “
Trump made an impersonal announcement about Afghanistan before convening a US-Taliban summit last year, shortly before the withdrawal agreement was signed.
He also has a record of ordering sudden and total withdrawal of troops from foreign deployments. In most cases, the Pentagon has tried to slow down, but in some cases the president has succeeded in bringing troops back to the country.
The Afghan government and Taliban negotiators are currently working in the Qatari capital to forge a new political settlement for the country. The peace talks are based on a withdrawal agreement signed between the Taliban and the Trump administration earlier this year.
The US-Taliban agreement saw the complete withdrawal of US troops in May 2021, but only if anti-terrorism conditions were met, including severing ties with al Qaeda. Some critics of the Doha talks argued that the militants were only marking the time before the U.S. military left.
Trump’s plans were announced in a tweet on Wednesday night. White House Double In a message on Thursday morning: “Our troops in Afghanistan will return to the country by the end of the year”, the administration’s official Twitter account said.
It was the latest in a long line of Trump ad hoc policy announcements that surprised his own advisers and the military. Shortly before his national security adviser, Robert O’Brien Trump, tweeted, he said the front numbers would be lowered early next year.
About 4,000 troops have been stationed on Afghan soil since the agreement was signed in February, down from more than 12,000.
The Pentagon has referred all requests to the White House for comment on the Afghanistan drawdown plan.
The Taliban welcomed Trump’s remarks as a “positive step toward implementation.” [the] The Doha Accords, “said Mohammed Naim, a spokesman for the Islamist group, in a statement referring to the US withdrawal agreement.
Peace talks are slowly moving forward, with negotiators still trying to keep the key rules for their talks. They are currently at a loss as to which Islamic school should be used when resolving disputes.
Trump has vowed to “end” his BD’s war on America abroad for re-election this year, promising to bring back troops from opposition regions, including Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
Past promises to withdraw troops, however, have often been abandoned, reversed, or only partially fulfilled.
After ordering the withdrawal of total U.S. troops from Syria in October 2019, Trump was persuaded to keep some people there for the reason that oil installations there would protect. A U.S. military presence remains, but it is about half the size of the thousand-strong force that was supporting Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
The Pentagon announced in July that it was withdrawing about 12,000 troops from Germany after Trump called for a total withdrawal to punish the Berlin government for its policy differences.
Senior military officials made it clear that it would take several years to rebuild this number of troops, and Congress is investigating the order. The downfall of foreign deployments was hampered by the deployment of 10,000 U.S. troops in the Gulf after the assassination of Iranian General Qasim Sulaimani in January.
Dempsey, a senior fellow in the Military, Veterans and Society program at the Center for New American Security, said the Pentagon will wait to see the results of the presidential election before launching a major troop movement.
“I think the lesson we all need to learn four years from now is that the president’s idea of his power can go nowhere beyond enjoying his expanded Twitter presence,” he said. “We’ve been so hurt by this kind of knee-jerk effort to win the news cycle that from now on no one will talk about these 48 hours.”