By Tony Winterburn • 08 October 2020 • 7:18
President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to announce that the “remaining number” of the American troops stationed in Afghanistan will be home before the end of the year.
Trump said in a tweet: “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas,” The president’s tweet suggests that the U.S. would be completely removing all U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan since 2001.
However, Trump’s remarks are contrary to what National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said just hours earlier, speaking during an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas Wednesday. Only last month, the US Department of Defense issued a statement reaffirming the president’s commitment to reducing troops and military staff in Afghanistan.
In the statement, David F. Helvey, assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said there were plans to have no troops at all left in the country – but not until May 2021. The statement continued: “But those plans can’t be implemented unless the conditions of an agreement with the Taliban are met, he said.”
The president’s remark today suggests that date “should” be brought forward by nearly half a year – however, Trump did not comment on the Taliban’s side of the agreement. Nearly 2,400 American soldiers have been killed so far in the war in Afghanistan, with more than 20,000 injured. President Trump has only been back in the Oval a day after being treated in the hospital for the coronavirus.
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