Major Troop Drawdown Ordered in Afghanistan

By Faye Higbee

Trump is apparently sick of wars that go nowhere, as well as the loss of 2,400 American troops in the 17 year war in Afghanistan. He didn’t want to increase US involvement when he came into office, but did so reluctantly at the behest of military advisers. Now, he’s pulling the plug. The order: 5,000-7,000 of the 14,000 American troops in the country are coming home soon.

The timetable is unclear, but it could happen within a relatively short period of time. Of course everyone is in an uproar on both sides of the aisle. This comes on the heels of the pullout from Syria that was announced on Wednesday.

Afghanistan has been unable to defend itself against the Taliban and other insurgent groups. But suddenly, the Democrats are all for the war they they have been complaining about for decades. It is expensive and deadly, as has been the war in Syria.

According to the Military Times,

Last month, in a nomination hearing to take over U.S. Central Command, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the nominee to lead CENTCOM, said terrorist groups in the country still represented a credible threat to the American homeland. He added that despite years of training from coalition troops, local security forces still did not have the ability to defend the Afghan government without assistance.

“They’re not there yet,” he said. “If we left precipitously right now, they would not be able to successfully defend their country.”

The war in Afghanistan has cost taxpayers about $45 Billion per year, according to the Pentagon. It has maimed or killed our warriors, leaving families to live with the grim aftereffects of IED explosions and other war injuries. Our troops have lived with the problems of insider attacks from the very people we are there to help.

There is no doubt that war is hell.

The US and Taliban met last week. The Taliban wants the United States out of Afghanistan.

Reuters reported,

U.S. officials are currently engaged in talks with the Taliban, who now control a significant amount of territory. The Taliban insurgency has strengthened its grip over the past three years, with the government in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of Afghanistan, down from 72 percent in 2015, a U.S. government report showed…

The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Khalid bin Salman, tweeted on Thursday that the discussions had been productive and would bring “very positive results by the beginning of next year.”

But a former senior State Department official familiar with the issue said that the Taliban representatives rejected a proposal by Khalilzad for a ceasefire and demanded that the talks focus on a U.S. withdrawal.

Next year is going to be interesting.