The number of US troops in Afghanistan will decline to 2,500 early next year, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said.
According to President Donald Trump, this could happen by Christmas.
A landmark agreement between the US and the Taliban in February suggests foreign troops will leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counter-terrorism guarantees from the Taliban.
President Donald Trump and other officials have stated that the United States will reduce the number of its military contingent in Afghanistan to 4-5 thousand people around November.
But after that, officials said, the cut would depend on the situation in Afghanistan.
“When President Trump took office, there were over 10,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan. Today there are fewer than 5,000, and this number will drop to 2,500 early next year, ”O’Brien said at an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
While negotiations were underway in the Qatari capital of Doha, dozens of Afghan and Taliban soldiers died in the clashes.
“In the end, the Afghans themselves have to work out an agreement, a peace agreement … Progress will be slow, it will be difficult, but we believe that this is a necessary step, we believe that the Americans should return home,” O’Brien said.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said Wednesday night that he wants all of the US military in Afghanistan to return home by Christmas.
“We must bring the small number of our remaining brave men and women who serve in Afghanistan home by Christmas!” – wrote Trump on Twitter.
However, he did not go into details.