U.S. on Track to Pull Troops from Afghanistan Despite Turmoil

Several thousand US troops are set to leave Afghanistan this summer, leaving 8,600.

The United States is on track to meet its commitment to the Taliban to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan by summer, even as violence flares, the peace process is stalled, and Kabul struggles in political deadlock.

U.S. officials say they will reduce to 8,600 troops by July 15 and abandon five bases. And by next spring all foreign forces are suppose to withdraw, ending America’s longest war. Yet the outlook for peace is cloudy at best. In the absence of Afghan peace talks, the Trump administration may face the prospect of fully withdrawing even as the Taliban remains at war with the government.

That has concerned some lawmakers, including Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee. She says the United States needs to keep a military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan to prevent extremist groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate from forming havens from which to attack the U.S.

“Withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan won't end the war — it will just let the terrorists win," she told The Associated Press.

The critics seem to think this is a complete withdrawal. It isn't.