Trump to speed up troops withdrawal

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ISLAMABAD: US President Donald Trump is pushing to accelerate withdrawals from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia by the time he leaves office in January, the US media reported on Tuesday.

Under a draft order circulating at the Pentagon, the number of US forces in Afghanistan would be halved from the current deployment of 4,500 troops. The report said that in Iraq, the Pentagon would trim force levels slightly below the 3,000 troops that commanders had previously announced and in Somalia, virtually all of the more than 700 troops conducting training and counterterrorism missions would leave.

Last month, Trump also said in his tweet that he wanted all 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan home by Christmas, but top military and national security aides advised against such a precipitous withdrawal. later on, Trump eventually agreed to the smaller drawdown.

According to US media, the Pentagon has issued a notice to commanders known as a “warning order” to begin planning to draw down the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops and 2,500 in Iraq by Jan 15.