As promised to the Taliban by the Trump Administration as a part of a deal in February 2020, the U.S. reduced its troop presence in Afghanistan to 8,600.

The information was confirmed on Thursday, June 18, by Marine General Frank McKenzie, who oversees the American troops in the region. However, he did not mention whether or when would the U.S. decide to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan even further.

It is an obligation on the part of the U.S. to completely withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. But it has to be fulfilled by May 2021. General McKenzie did not confirm when would the U.S. decision to withdraw troops completely, however, he did say that it is an “aspirational commitment” and the timeline would depend on certain actions taken by the Taliban.

The war in Afghanistan began in 2001 and the American troops have been deployed there since then. Trump is highly interested in withdrawing troops completely and says that they have been doing nothing but only monitoring and policing the civil conflict and therefore, should return home.

McKenzie, without mentioning the numbers himself, said that the country is “at that number now,” which is per the deal signed between the U.S. and Taliban in February this year.

If the numbers of true, as many as 12,000 troops have been reduced by the U.S. since the signing of the deal. The agreement mentioned that the U.S. must reduce the strength of American troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 within 135 days, which would complete in mid-July.

"Conditions would have to be met that satisfy us that attacks against our homeland are not going to be generated from Afghanistan," McKenzie said at an Aspen Strategy Group webinar. "That's not the Taliban. That is, of course, al-Qaida and ISIS (ISIL)."

During the Taliban's previous rule, Al-Qaida and ISIL used the country haven to plan the 9/11 attack on the U.S.

As a part of the deal, which the U.S. agreed to withdraw troops, the Taliban promised that it will not allow any violent groups to use the land of Afghanistan to plan any attacks on the U.S. soil.

That is the reason why McKenzie said that they will have to wait and watch the Taliban before the complete withdrawal of force from Afghanistan.

"They have not yet completely made that case. There remains an opportunity for them to do it, but time is now beginning to grow short," he added.

Taliban Fighters
Representational image. REUTERS/Mohammad Shoiab

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.