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Pentagon mulls cutting troop levels in Afghanistan

Pentagon mulls cutting troop levels in Afghanistan

Oct 05, 2019 - 10:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Pentagon continues mulling over reducing troop levels in Afghanistaninfo-icon, where militant-linked violence has recently escalated, says the US defence secretary. .

“My ambition would be to get the troop level down to a level by which we know we can contain and do the core mission,” Mark Esper was quoted as saying by the Politico.

Operations against Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State constitute the Pentagon’s core mission in Afghanistan. US troops are also helping Kabul against the Talibaninfo-icon.

Esper told reporters on Friday: “If a commander feels confident that he can reduce forces, I will look at the right timing to do that … to make sure I can get down to a more manageable level.”

He said the US had stepped up airstrikes against militants in Afghanistan in line with orders from President Donald Trump after the collapse of talks with the Taliban,

“We did step up our attacks on the Taliban since the talks broke down. The president did want us to pick up in response to the heinous attacks that the Taliban and others conducted throughout Afghanistan," he added.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud


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