“When President Trump took office, there were over 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan. As of today there are under 5,000 and that will go to 2,500 by early next year,” O’Brien said on Wednesday, speaking at an event at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Under a deal signed with the Taliban in February, the US agreed to a full troop withdrawal by spring 2021, slowly drawing down its forces as the Afghan government works to negotiate a long term ceasefire with the Islamist militant group. O’Brien’s comments were the first details on the next stage of the withdrawal, with administration officials previously stating the troop level would sit between 4,000 and 5,000 by the end of November.
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