It appears doubtful the United States can completely withdraw from war-torn Afghanistan despite President Trump’s stated desire to do so, says a national security analyst.
The Trump administration is reportedly working on a plan to reduce the number of U.S. service members from 14,000 to approximately 8,000.
The Washington Post reported that the plan hinges on working out a deal between the Afghan government and the brutal Taliban regime.
Bob Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel now with the Family Research Council, says we have no choice but to negotiate with the enemy to bring some stability to the region.
“We've talked to them at least on eight different occasions and the indications are that we're making some progress,” he says. “I'm not excited about it but you talk to your enemy when other efforts don't materialize and get you what you want."
The U.S. formally withdrew thousands of troops in 2014, ending 13 years of conflict, but a NATO-led mission to train and advise Afghan troops called Operation Resolute Support is ongoing, according to Military.com.
The latest U.S. casualties, two soldiers from the 82nd Airborne, were killed by an Afghan soldier earlier this month and marked the 11th and 12th U.S. servicemembers killed in 2019. A total of 13 U.S. troopers were killed in 2018.
Triggered by the 9/11 attacks, the United States has been in Afghanistan since 2001.
The Pentagon identified the soldiers as Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer of Stryker, Ohio, and Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance of Chicago. Kreischer was 20 years old. Nance was 24, Fox News reported.
Trump has talked publicly about pulling out of Afghanistan since the campaign trail but Maginnis tells OneNewsNow that is technically unlikely.
“He also promised that we're going to maintain an intelligence capability there and some anti-terrorism capability to prevent the resurgence of an al Qaida-like element,” Maginnis. “So these issues will probably mitigate a total withdrawal."