Trump Declares U.S. “Substantially” Reducing Troop Numbers In Afghanistan


During President Trump’s surprise Thanksgiving visit to our troops in Afghanistan, he declared that the U.S. is looking to reduce troop number to around 8,600 in Afghanistan.

Trump also announced that he has restarted peace negotiations with the Taliban and believes they want a ceasfire.

It certainly looks like President Trump is continuing to deliver on his promise to end unnecessary warfare and bring our troops back home!

Check out the breaking news on this that hit Twitter:

The 8,600 is based on what the top general in Afghanistan believes is need to fight terrorism in the region.

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CNBC has more to say:

President Donald Trump traveled to Afghanistan for the first time to visit U.S. troops during the Thanksgiving holiday, where he met with the Afghan president and said Washington had restarted talks with the Taliban. 

Trump landed at Bagram Airfield and served Thanksgiving dinner to service members before meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He then addressed 1,500 U.S. troops representing all services in a hanger.

Trump said the U.S. is able to “very substantially” draw down its military presence in the country to 8,600 troops or possibly lower. The president said the Afghan Taliban “wants to make a deal” and they “want to do a ceasefire.”  

“We are talking to the Taliban,” Trump said in response to a question about peace talks. 

“We will see if the Taliban wants to make a deal,” Trump said during his meeting with Ghani. “If they do, they do. If they don’t they don’t. We were getting close.”

Trump has repeatedly said he wants to reduce troop numbers in Afghanistan, where the U.S. has fought the longest war in its history. American service members first deployed to Afghanistan in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Market Watch also said:

President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, where he announced the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in ongoing peace talks and said he believes the Taliban want a cease-fire.

 

Trump arrived at Bagram Air Field shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time Thursday and spent 3½ hours on the ground during his first trip to the site of America’s longest war. He served turkey and thanked the troops, delivered a speech and sat down with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani before leaving just after midnight.

 

As per tradition, reporters were under strict instructions to keep the trip a secret to ensure the president’s safety in the country. About 12,000 U.S. forces remain in Afghanistan.

 

Traveling with Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming and a small clutch of aides, including his acting chief of staff, press secretary and national security adviser, Trump appeared in good spirits as he was escorted around the base by heavily armed soldiers, as the smell of burning fuel and garbage wafted through the chilly air. Unlike last year’s post-Christmas visit to Iraq — his first to an active combat zone — first lady Melania Trump did not make the trip.

 

Trump’s first stop was a dining hall, where the crowd erupted into cheers when he arrived. There, he served turkey to soldiers dressed in fatigues and sat down for a meal. But he said he only tasted the mashed potatoes before he was pulled away for photos.

 

“I never got the turkey,” he told the troops. “A gorgeous piece of turkey.”

 

During his visit, Trump announced that the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in peace talks and insisted the Taliban want to make a deal after heavy U.S. fire in recent months.

 

“We’re meeting with them,” he said. “And we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire. And they don’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they do want to do a cease-fire, I believe ... and we’ll see what happens.”

 

The trip came after Trump abruptly broke off peace talks with the Taliban in September, canceling a secret meeting with Taliban and Afghan leaders at the Camp David presidential retreat after a particularly deadly spate of violence, capped by a bombing in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

 

That ended a nearly yearlong effort by the U.S. to reach a political settlement with the Taliban, the group that protected al-Qaida extremists in Afghanistan, prompting U.S. military action after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. U.S. and international forces have been on the ground ever since.

 

It was not immediately clear how long or substantive the U.S. reengagement with the Taliban has been.

 

Trump ran his 2016 campaign promising to end the nation’s “endless wars” and has been pushing to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and in the Middle East despite protests from top U.S. officials, Trump’s Republican allies in Washington and many U.S. allies abroad. For months now, he has described American forces as “policemen” and argued that other countries’ wars should be theirs to wage.

 

Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and more than 2,400 American service members have been killed since the war began 18 years ago.

 

Just last week, Trump flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to oversee the transfer of the remains of two Army officers killed when their helicopter crashed as they provided security for troops on the ground in Logar province in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban still controls or holds sway over about half of the country, staging near daily attacks targeting Afghan forces and government officials.

 

The U.S. and Taliban had been close to an agreement in September that might have enabled a U.S. troop withdrawal.

 

Nonetheless, Trump said Thursday that he was proceeding with a plan to reduce U.S. troop levels to about 8,600, telling reporters we’re “bringing down the number of troops substantially.”

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