Trump decides to reduce troops, top U.S. military officials say strike Taliban hideouts in Af-Pak

High U.S. military officials have persuaded Trump to commit thousands more troops to Afghanistan and ramp up air strikes on the Taliban in the Af-Pak region from the bordering areas to the cities and places where their presence is in thousands and they are promoting religious extremism and militancy in other countries.

The United States President Donald Trump has decided to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan, bringing them to 7,000. At present, there are 14,000 troops in the war-torn country.  

According to the U.S. media, more than 7,000 troops could be leaving Afghanistan and return home. The U.S. troops in Afghanistan are working with NATO forces and Afghan forces for counter-terrorism operations.

Trump’s decision apparently came Tuesday as Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. diplomat and the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the Department of State, met with the Taliban in Abu Dhabi in efforts to bring the militants to the negotiating table with the Afghan government.

A huge number of combat troops withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and handed security responsibility to the local forces. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri brushing off security concerns downplayed the effect of any pullout.

He said, in the last four-and-half-years the Afghans have been in full control and therefore withdraw of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan will not have a security impact.

Top U.S. military advisors and generals including Lieutenant-General Kenneth McKenzie and James Mattis, who recently resigned, warned earlier this month that local forces will not overcome the current casualty rate.

They persuaded Trump to commit thousands more troops to Afghanistan and ramp up air strikes on the Taliban in the Af-Pak region from the bordering areas to the cities and places where their presence is in thousands and they are promoting religious extremism and militancy in other countries.  

U.S. Senators also described the Afghanistan decision as a “high risk strategy,” saying, this could pave the way to a second 9/11.

A senior Taliban commander welcomed the withdrawal decision, saying, they are more than happy and expecting more good news.