‘I Have No Target’: Trump Wants US Troops to Return From Afghanistan ‘as Soon as is Reasonable’

Middle East

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he has no target for when US troops in Afghanistan should return home and that troop withdrawal should occur “as soon as is reasonable.”

The US president noted that while he desires a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan, he has not yet set a target date.

“We’re not acting as soldiers, we’re acting as police, and we’re not sent over there to be policemen. But we’re there 19 years, and I think that’s enough. We want to bring our soldiers back home … we can always go back if we have to. If we have to go back, we’ll go back raging, and they [the soldiers] will go back as warriors, fighters, but right now we’re policing, and we’re not meant to be police force,” Trump told a White House news conference.

Senior US military officials are expected to discuss options for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan with Trump over the next few days. Complete withdrawal of troops could occur as early as before the November presidential election, officials familiar with the matter told the New York Times this week.

However, senior military officials believe that withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan too quickly may negatively affect the peace deal with the Taliban.

One of the options US military officials plan to present to Trump is removing all troops from the country before Election Day. Another option, however, would follow the timeline in…

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