American troops to be pulled from Afghanistan

US troops keep watch during an official visit in Farah province Afghanistan

US troops keep watch during an official visit in Farah province Afghanistan

The withdrawal of the United States of troops from Afghanistan is Pakistan's diplomatic victory in the region and Kabul where the beleaguered government has been struggling to get a stronghold against the growing might of Taliban insurgents.

U.S. President Donald Trump's reported plans to withdraw around 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, roughly half the remaining U.S. military presence there, has prompted much discussion about the impact the drawdown could have on the country.

Furhan Khalil, a 28-year-old linguist and photographer, said the US drawdown "will affect the morale of our security forces and on the other hand improve the morale of the Taliban".

Taliban are reportedly mulling a formal response to the U.S. media reports; however, a Taliban official termed the reported decision of troops' withdrawal a "positive step". But, they cautioned, he could always reverse course. "Diplomacy gets harder when the White House fails to coordinate with other branches of government and close US allies".

Word of Trump's decision followed a two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi earlier this week between U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives at which the sides discussed a withdrawal of worldwide forces and a ceasefire in 2019. Why are we fighting for our enemy, Syria, by staying & killing ISIS for them, Russia, Iran & other locals? "Their top priority is for the United States to leave Afghanistan", said Campbell, now an analyst with the RAND Corp think tank.

The US and Taliban are engaged in a dialogue for peace in war-torn Afghanistan.

A recent us military report said Taliban control over Afghanistan has increased in recent months, and the government now controls or influences only 55.5 percent of the country's districts - the lowest level recorded since it began tracking the data in 2015.

A delegation of the Afghan High Peace Council, an independent body set up to negotiate with the insurgents, was also present at the talks.

Khalilzad had concluded more than two weeks of meetings with officials in eight countries - including representatives of the Taliban - to build support for peace talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government. "The message to the Taliban, especially the most hard elements of the Taliban, is just to wait a little bit longer", Reed added.

Late previous year, Trump reluctantly agreed to deploying thousands of additional U.S. troops.

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The U.S. -led war effort in Afghanistan has suffered serious setbacks this year, which was one of the deadliest for both Afghan security forces and civilians since the war began in 2001.

Some 8,000 troops from 38 other countries are participating in Resolute Support.

"If you're the Taliban, Christmas has come early", a senior foreign official in the Afghan capital told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

Details are still emerging on this discussion, but the recent struggles of the Afghan War have been very well publicized, and the Taliban's negotiations with the USA has centered on them wanting the U.S. to withdraw under any peace deal.

On Wednesday, Trump rebuffed top advisers and chose to pull all USA troops out of Syria, a decision that was swiftly followed by the abrupt resignation of U.S. defence secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday over significant policy differences with the president.

US President Trump's plan dismays foreign diplomats and officials in Kabul even as Afghan presidency brushes off concerns the drawdown of at least 5,000 US troops would affect fight against Taliban.


An Indian official too said it did not necessarily mean the return of the Taliban.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump's defence secretary, Jim Mattis, announced his resignation from his post.

But in the years since then, the Taliban's power and reach have soared - and U.S. troops have stayed on the ground in an effort to stabilise the country.

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