Senior Pentagon officials said on the 2nd that the U.S. military will reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by mid-January next year, but will still retain at least two large military bases.
Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army, disclosed the above details when he attended an event sponsored by the Brookings Institution, an American think tank.
Millie said that the U.S. military in Afghanistan will also retain several smaller military facilities around the two bases.
He did not specify which bases would be retained after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, nor refused to disclose what combat capabilities would be lost after the withdrawal. He only said that the remaining U.S. military would continue to carry out two core tasks: assisting the Afghan security forces and combating extremist organizations.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the reduction of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 by January 15 next year after the November election. According to Reuters, after Trump leaves office on January 20 next year, whether the deployment of U.S. troops in these two countries will be adjusted, which is a cause for concern.
Millie refused to speculate on the 2nd whether U.S. President-elect Joseph Biden will change his predecessor’s decision after taking office.
The U.S. government signed an agreement with the Afghan Taliban at the end of February this year. The United States promised to withdraw its troops in a phased manner, while the Taliban promised not to allow its members and other armed forces, including Al-Qaeda, to use Afghan territory to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
The Afghan government and the Taliban are advancing peace negotiations in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The two sides announced on the 2nd that they had agreed on the steps of future intra-Afghan peace talks, and that the next step would be to start dialogue according to the timetable. Several media reported that this was the first written document reached between the two sides in 19 years of civil war.