12.10.2020 ‘We Have Responsible Options’ for Ending Afghan War: U.S. Gen. Milley
Speaking to NPR (National Public Radio-USA), U.S joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley said on Sunday, “We have a plan, a series of responsible drawdown options that have been briefed to the president”.
“I’m not going to go into specific numbers for the future. I think that would not be appropriate for me as the chairman to talk specific numbers in future operations, we typically don’t do that. But we have a responsible plan to end the war with US interests clearly in mind, as you know, we the United States government signed an agreement on 28 February,” he said.
Pointing the U.S had around 12000 Soldiers in Afghanistan amid February U.S-Taliban peace negotiations.
General Milley added, “That came down to, call it 8,500, 8,600 or so by mid-summer, and we’re on a plan to do a responsible, deliberate drawdown to about 4,500 here very shortly. And then future drawdowns will be determined by the president. And I’m not going to disclose specific numbers and what those are. The whole agreement and all of the drawdown plans are conditions-based, and I expect that we’ll have further discussions on the conditions and ensure that they warrant.”
Over the high level of violence in the country, he said, “we’re monitoring all of those conditions closely. And we’re, we the military, are giving our best military advice on those conditions so that the president can make an informed, deliberate, responsible decision.”
“So, what I want to make sure is that we’re going through a high degree of rigor and providing good analysis for the president to make a responsible, deliberate decision,” he said.
Previously, on October 8th President Trump had tweeted, “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!”
Hours after the president’s tweet, (Reuters) Trump’s NSA advisor O’Brien in an event at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said “Ultimately, the Afghans themselves are going to have to work out an accord, a peace agreement. … It’s going to be slow progress, it’s going to be hard progress, but we think it’s a necessary step. we think Americans need to come home.”