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Afghanistan: Pentagon planning zero troop presence

Afghanistan: Pentagon planning zero troop presence

Sep 23, 2020 - 11:39

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Planning is underway to cut the US military presence in Afghanistaninfo-icon to zero by spring, a Pentagon official says.

However, orders for a full complete withdrawal from the war-hit country have not been issued yet, said the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.

The Defense Department expected there would be fewer than 5,000 US military personnel in that country by the end of November, David F. Helvey.

“We are conducting prudent planning to withdraw to zero service members by May 2021 if conditions warrant,” Helvey informed the House Oversight Committee’s national security subcommittee.

He told the panel as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Doha, the Talibaninfo-icon must live up to their counterterrorism guarantees to the United States.

"We also expect the Taliban to meaningfully participate in Afghan peace negotiations and to do their part in preventing outside actors from negatively impacting the peace process."

In their Feb. 20 peace pact, the US and the Taliban agreed on the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

The US has since reduced its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 as per the deal, which requires the militant outfit not to allow other groups to use Afghanistan’s soil to threaten the security of America or its allies.

Helvey said: "Ultimately, what we want to be able to see in Afghanistan is an enduring peace. In that type of environmentinfo-icon ... terrorist groups will not be able to operate..."

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud



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