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IPFS News Link • Trump Administration

Pentagon Has Begun Preparing For Full Afghanistan Withdrawal

•, Dave DeCamp

On Tuesday, a US official said that the Pentagon has begun planning for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan by the Spring of 2021, although the order to begin that withdrawal has not been given.

"I'd like to make it clear that [Secretary of Defense Mark Esper] has not issued orders to reduce military personnel below this 4,000 to 5,000 level in Afghanistan, although we are conducting prudent planning to withdraw to zero service members by May 2021 if conditions warrant, per the US-Taliban agreement," David Helvey, the acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said during a Congressional hearing.

The US is expected to bring troop levels in Afghanistan down to 4,500 by the November presidential election. The US-Taliban peace deal signed in February paved the way for this drawdown.