U.S. begins to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

Per the peace agreement signed 10 days ago, the U.S. has begun removing troops from the Afghan region

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U.S. and Afghan troops battle Taliban in Kunar Province
U.S. and Afghan troops battle Taliban in Kunar Province
(John Moore / Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 10, 2020 - 7:50am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

U.S. military forces have begun leaving Afghanistan and will not be replaced, despite the political unrest that threatens the recently signed Taliban peace agreement that has resulted in the troop withdraw.

The initial U.S. troop withdrawal is based on a joint declaration between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and a U.S. agreement with the Taliban requiring the political-military group to stop its deadly attacks on America’s Afghan allies.

Per the agreement, Washington will try to cut the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 8,600.

A complication arose Monday as Afghanistan’s rival leaders — Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah — were simultaneously sworn in as president of the country in separate ceremonies.

The deal, which was signed on February 29, stipulates that the U.S. must begin pulling troops out of the region within 10 days of the signing. Once the number of troops still in Afghanistan is leveled down to 8,600, General Scott Miller, the U.S. commander in Kabul, will make a decision about next steps based upon conditions on the ground with a goal of removing all troops within 14 months.

The peace agreement is not connected to intra-Afghan stability, rather it dependent upon the Taliban preventing terror organizations from using Afghan to “threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”