On the question of U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan, U.S top military and government are surely not on the same page. President Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien, in a webcast, rebutted comments of Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the policy of withdrawing forces from Afghanistan.
“We’re going to be under 5,000 troops within the next month or so, and in the early part of next year we’re going to be down to 2,500 troops,” Rober O’ Brien claimed during his webcast at the Aspen Institute. This is not the first time O’Brien has said that the number of U.S. forces would be reduced to 2,500 by January 2021. He made a similar t announcement on October 7, in Las Vegas.
However, U.S. Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, had declared these remarks as ‘speculation.’
“Robert O’Brien or anyone else can speculate as they see fit,” Milley told NPR. “I’m not going to engage in speculation.”
President Trump’s advisor responded on Friday, without naming the General. “It’s been suggested by some that that’s speculation. I can guarantee you that’s the plan of the president of the United States.”
U.S. Generals are not in favor of complete withdrawal at a stage when talks with the Afghan Taliban are underway. Gen. Milley told NPR that U.S. withdrawal is a “conditions-based plan.” He said that the deal requires the Taliban to end all ties with Al-Qaida. Zalmay Khalizad, chief U.S. negotiator with the Taliban, informed U.S. Congress that the Taliban had not met the requirements laid out in the peace deal.