Troop Withdrawal Will Not Affect Security: Ghani's Spokesman

Clarksville Now Staff Sgt. Nicholas Byers Resolute Support Headquarters Afghan Special Security Forces shut down Taliban training center

Clarksville Now Staff Sgt. Nicholas Byers Resolute Support Headquarters Afghan Special Security Forces shut down Taliban training center

Even before Trump's surprise withdrawal announcements, Khanna planned to introduce a bill to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, America's longest war. His decision was made public a mere few hours after he abruptly announced the US was withdrawing troops from Syria.

US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, handing responsibility for securing the country to local forces.

In line with these efforts, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, met with Afghan government leaders, political leaders and activists in Kabul to discuss the Afghan peace. "This likely would cause the general collapse of the (Afghan National Security and Defense Force) as a cohesive fighting force and lead to the return of the warlords".

A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Haroon Chakhansuri, downplayed the news, saying: It "will not have a security impact because in the last four and a half years, the Afghans have been in full control".

But there is no sign the Taliban are ready to move on the two major sticking points: Direct talks with the Afghan government and a ceasefire while the two sides negotiate Mr Khalilzad's so-called "roadmap for the future of Afghanistan".

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"The conditions in Afghanistan - at the present moment - make American troop withdrawals a high risk strategy", Graham tweeted.

The U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan for 17 years and still has about 15,000 troops there helping government troops combat the Taliban.

More than 7,000 American troops will begin to return home from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, a USA official said.

"As the Kabul administration is the product of the invasion as it has neither capability to end nor want to end the invasion", a Taliban commentary on their official website said.

Ordinary Afghans have mixed feelings about the presence of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops.

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"America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress".

In a statement following Thursday's announcement, Khanna said that the plan needs to be responsibly implemented over a short timeline and should move Afghanistan toward nonmilitary peace-building solutions acceptable to, and driven by, the Afghan people.

"If you're the Taliban, Christmas has come early", a senior foreign official in the Afghan capital told AFP news agency on the condition of anonymity.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid would not comment about the USA troop withdrawal when contacted by AFP.

The officials said a USA withdrawal would represent a defeat and some compared it to the US evacuation from Vietnam, and Russia's 1979 forced withdrawal from Afghanistan after a failed 10-year war.

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A USA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the military has begun planning the details of a drawdown, which could include reviewing what bases the United States would keep and what type of troops would be removed. "It also weakens the Ghani government which has staked so much on the United States commitment", said Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle Eastern Institute.

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