Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he would like to withdraw all the American soldiers from Afghanistan by Christmas, that is to say faster than expected by the agreement between the United States and the Taliban.
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“We should bring home by Christmas the small number of our courageous men and women who still serve in Afghanistan!” Tweeted the US president, who will seek a second term on November 3 against Democrat Joe Biden.
The Republican billionaire has been promising for years to “put an end to endless wars”, and has never hidden that he hoped to accelerate the withdrawal as the presidential election approaches.
The Trump administration has pledged to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by mid-2021 at the latest in a landmark deal signed Feb. 29 with the Taliban to end America’s longest war. In return, the insurgents pledged not to allow terrorists to operate from the territories they control, and to initiate unprecedented direct peace negotiations with the government in Kabul.
The latter began in September, several months late, and have not yet resulted in an agreement to reduce violence, or even to conclude a ceasefire.
Despite these meager progress, the US military began to withdraw at the pace set out in the agreement, if not faster. In September, there were 8,600 American soldiers in Afghanistan, but the Pentagon had indicated that a new phase of the withdrawal was imminent.