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US Quandary Over Afghanistan Continues, Now President Trump Says 8,600 Troops Will Stay

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The United States  plans to cut its military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 troops after it reaches the peace deal with Taliban, President Donald Trump said in a report by ANI.

“We’re going down to 8,600 [troops] and then we’ll make a determination from there as to what happens,” Trump told Fox news.

“We’ll make a determination, but we’re going down to 8,600, we’re bringing it down. We have it very well controlled,” he said.

The Taliban and the US are getting closer to a deal centred around the latter’s promise to withdraw its troops from the war-torn country, in exchange for the guarantee by the former that the Afghan soil, particularly areas under the Taliban’s control, would not become a platform for transnational terrorism.

The US currently has about 14,000 service members in Afghanistan, and the move would reduce troop levels to one of the lowest points in the history of the 18-year long war. The figure had swelled to nearly 100,000 at the highest mark in 2011 and dipped to 8,300 in 2017, reported USA Today.

The ninth round of talks between the two sides reached the fifth consecutive day on Thursday with most of the details remaining behind the closed doors.

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