Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 43 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/17/19

In Wake of "Afghanistan Papers" Scandal, Trump to Yank Out 4,000 Troops

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Message Juan Cole
Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

From Informed Comment

(Image by Video Screenshot)   Details   DMCA

VOA reports that Trump will pull 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan, leaving less than 9,000 in country.

Of the 13,000 US troops now in Afghanistan, 8,000 are training the Afghanistan National Army, while 5,000 are actively engaged in counter-terrorism operations.

Last week Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that any troop withdrawal would not be tied to progress in peace talks with the Taliban.

Also last week, the Washington Post released hundreds of US government documents gathered by a Congressional watchdog agency demonstrating that US officials have deliberately and assiduously lied to the American public about alleged "progress" in the trillion-dollar Afghanistan War over the past decade and a half. That is, they knew the war was lost but told us the opposite.

The US appears to have no plans to cut back on its massive aerial bombardment of Taliban-held areas. During the first three quarters of 2019, the US dropped 6,208 bombs and missiles on Afghanistan, up nearly 5 percent over the same period in 2018, which had itself seen the heaviest bombardment of the country since the US invasion in 2001.

US negotiations with the Taliban, after a hiatus, resumed in Qatar on 7 December, only to be put on a brief hold by US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad after a Taliban attack on the Bagram base used by the US (only Afghans were harmed).

The Afghanistan senate, however, has warned that no US-Taliban peace agreement would be acceptable that did not involve the Afghanistan government itself. For their part, the Taliban pledged that if a peace deal is reached with Washington, they would not attack US service personnel as they withdrew from the country. The negotiations with the US have never been accompanied by any decrease in Taliban violence.

The Taliban control four of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, but have significant influence in and can easily conduct military attacks in 17 of the provinces. The Kabul government of Ashraf Ghani securely controls only the other 17.

The Afghanistan army and gendarmes are particularly weak in the Pushtun areas of the east and south. Pushtuns make up roughly 44% of Afghanistan, and are the ethnic group from which the Taliban sprang. There is a high desertion rate from the Afghanistan National Army. In the eastern Ghazni province on Saturday, several troops attacked their colleagues, killing 34, before fleeing to join the Taliban.

Bonus Video:

WDIV 4 NBC Detroit: "Trump Administration to announce Afghanistan troop withdrawal"

Rate It | View Ratings

Juan Cole Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Rupert Murdoch's Fox postpones Pirro, as his Sky Channel is Pulled from NZ Airwaves for airing Shooter's Video

Clouds of War: Russia sends Warships as Turkey kills 45 Syrian Troops and blackmails Europe with Migration

India Doubles Iran Oil Imports: Are Trump's Sanctions Cratering?

Who's Running John Bolton to Start a war with Iran? He worried even Mad Dog Mattis

Top 5 Mistakes GOP's Wohl Made in allegedly framing Mueller for Sex Charges

Trump hands Oil & Gas to Syria & Russia as he claims "We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East"

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend