Military perplexed by Trump tweet
The US military was blindsided yesterday by President Donald Trump’s assertion that all US troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, with US officials saying they are not aware of such a plan and have no actual order to accelerate the more gradual pullout they’ve been executing. Trump’s comments, laid out in a confusing progression of comments and a tweet, alarmed Pentagon and State officials who fear putting a date on troop withdrawal could undercut negotiations to finalise a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government. They also fear a hasty withdrawal could force the US to leave behind sensitive military equipment. And they continue to stress that the Taliban has not met requirements to reduce violence against the Afghans.