The Pentagon has approved the withdrawal plan for Afghanistan and reserved two large bases in Afghanistan, the top general of the U.S. military said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, officials will follow President Trump’s order to reduce the size of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by January 15 next year.
Last month, after the election, Trump decided to cut the number of about 4,500 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan by nearly half. The decision was made before the military leaders made a withdrawal plan, which made many issues related to the U.S. military mission after Trump left office next year unresolved.
Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Army, revealed the preliminary details of the withdrawal at an event sponsored by the Brookings Institution. He said that in addition to the two larger bases, the United States will retain “several satellite bases”.
He said that the U.S. military will continue to carry out two core tasks: one is to assist the Afghan security forces in fierce conflict with Taliban insurgents, and the other is to carry out anti-terrorism operations against Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants.
However, Millie did not disclose which bases in Afghanistan the United States will close, nor what capabilities the United States will lose after withdrawing 2,000 soldiers from Afghanistan. In addition, he refused to speculate about what President-elect Joe Biden would make.
“Everything after that will depend on the new government,” Millie said.
As the United States prepares to withdraw more troops, the U.S.-backed Afghan government reached a preliminary agreement with Taliban representatives on Wednesday, and the two sides agreed to continue to advance peace talks.
Millie said that this was the first written agreement reached between the two sides in a 19-year war.
Millie said that in retrospect, the United States “has achieved a little success” in Afghanistan. He stressed the importance of peace talks, but he also admitted that sitting down with Taliban representatives to negotiate was “disgusting” to some people.
he said: “But in fact, the most common way to end the insurgency is to achieve power-sharing through consultation,”