US troops in Afghanistan should be ‘home at Christmas’ – Dateway

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wanted to return home all US forces from Afghanistan before the end of the year, a much earlier deadline than that put forward by his administration earlier today.

“We should have the remaining few of our BRAVE men and women stationed in Afghanistan by Christmas!” Trump tweeted Wednesday night.

The country’s longest war began in 2001 when US forces invaded Afghanistan in response to the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, DC

The invasion toppled the ruling extremist Taliban in Afghanistan, which was home to the al-Qaida terrorist network and its leader, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. But the Taliban have waged a relentless and bloody insurgency against the US-backed civilian government since its overthrow.

The United States and the Taliban reached an agreement in February for the United States to withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan by mid-2021 in exchange for assurances from the Taliban not to allow terrorist groups to use Afghan soil for international attacks.

The Taliban have engaged in intra-Afghan negotiations to reach an agreement on a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing agreement in post-war Afghanistan.

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Just hours before Trump’s tweet, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said the United States intended to downsize in Afghanistan from 5,000 to 2,500 by early 2021.

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