U.S. troops in Afghanistan now down to 2,500, lowest since 2001

Miller said the United States will continue to take any action necessary to ensure protection of its citizens.

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The US Department of Defense on Friday confirmed that the number of US forces in Afghanistan has reached to 2,500 as directed by President Donald Trump.

“Today, the United States is closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war and welcoming in an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” the statement said quoting  US Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.

“With a force of 2,500, commanders have what they need to keep America, our people and our interests safe,” Miller said. “Working alongside our NATO allies and partners, the United States will continue to execute both our counterterrorism mission and the train, advise and assist mission in support of Afghan Security Forces working to secure peace in their country.”

He said that “continued fulfillment of these two complementary missions seeks to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to harbor those who seek to bring harm to the United States of America.”

Miller said this force reduction is an indication of the United States’ continued support towards the Afghan peace process and our adherence to commitments made in both the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration.

“Moving forward, while the Department continues with planning capable of further reducing US troop levels to zero by May of 2021, any such future drawdowns remain conditions-based. All sides must demonstrate their commitment to advancing the peace process,” Miller said.

He concluded that the United States will continue to take any action necessary to ensure the protection of its homeland, its citizens and its interests.

The reduction in a number of US forces in Afghanistan is accompanied by concerns by experts who say it might end up in increase in militants activities in the country. The Defense Ministry recently said Afghan forces are capable of defending the country but according to experts, they need support of international forces.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan now down to 2,500, lowest since 2001