In Afghanistan, Senator Graham says US troop drawdown coming

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US Senator Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Donald Trump will announce an American troop drawdown from Afghanistan this week, which will likely begin next year.

Speaking from the Afghan capital of Kabul, Graham said the president could reduce troop numbers to 8,600, down from the current 12,000. He said Afghanistan’s National Security Forces are up to the task of defending their country.

Still, Graham has opposed a full US troop withdrawal, saying Monday that America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan must be “condition-based” and that the Taliban must keep the promises they make during talks.

Recently-resumed peace negotiations between the US and Taliban are again “paused” after an attack Wednesday outside Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul.

The attack killed two Afghans and wounded 70 others. Five US soldiers were slightly injured.

US media reported on Sunday that the Trump administration will announce as early as this week plans to withdraw around 4,000 troops from Afghanistan.

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