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Premature withdrawal from Afghanistan may hamper peace talks: Germany

Premature withdrawal from Afghanistan may hamper peace talks: Germany

But the plans, which were first reported on Monday, stopped short of the complete withdrawal Trump had threatened to carry out by Christmas. "The Administration has yet to explain why reducing troops in Afghanistan-where conditions for withdrawal have not been met-is a wise decision for our national security interests in the region", Sen.

The Pentagon announced the US will withdraw several thousand USA troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

"A rapid withdrawal of USA forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm", McConnell said.

The drawdown, announced Tuesday by acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, is alarmingly abrupt, and it preempts what should have been a decision by President-elect Joe Biden.

US Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, warned against the US undertaking any quick changes in American defence or foreign policy, including toward Iraq and Afghanistan.

In October, Trump tweeted that "the small remaining number" of U.S. forces serving in Afghanistan would be "home by Christmas". Retaining even a small contingent of troops, though, could unravel the US deal with the Taliban, who insist all foreign forces must leave within the agreed spring 2021 time frame.

But those plans have yet to be hammered out in detail, officials say, leaving questions unanswered about which troops to withdraw and the impact on a mission that ranges from advising and supporting Afghan forces to carrying out counter-terrorism strikes against al Qaeda and Daesh militants.

The armed group still controls large parts of southern and central Somalia and frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks on military and civilian targets, including at hotels, intersections and checkpoints.

"This has been the President's policy since he took office".

But critics said they risk appearing like a humiliating defeat, leaving the original threat of Islamic extremist attacks intact.

National security adviser Robert O'Brien - the fourth official to hold the post during Trump's presidency - has advocated for the Afghan withdrawal during his year in office despite pressure from other military leaders to hold off on such moves.

"Four years ago President Trump ran on a promise to put a stop to America's endless wars".

Despite the President firing him last week, Esper never saw the issue as a matter of whether U.S. service members should be in Afghanistan, sources tell CNN.

"By May, it is President Trump's hope that they will come home safely and, in their entirety", he said.

Officials at both the State Department and the Pentagon, according to this source, questioned why the Taliban would continue negotiating a peaceful end to the conflict with the U.S. leaving anyway.

"Moments ago, acting Secretary of Defense Miller announced major troop reductions in Afghanistan and in Iraq".

Esper had reduced US forces from about 13,000 following the February 29 peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban insurgents.

The two sides agreed that the Taliban would then negotiate a power-sharing pact with the Afghan government, so that US troops would be gone by May 2021. In Iraq they will be reduced from 3,000 to 2,500.

We oppose a sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan, but not because we believe USA forces should remain perpetually in that country.

In an apparent message to Washington, he said: "We went into Afghanistan together".

The Utah Republican said that now is not the time for such moves.