Oct 8, 2020 - World

Trump admin plans to reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by 2021

An Afghan border forces soldier stands guard at a U.S. forces base which has been handed over to Afghan border forces in Dih Bala district of Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, July 20
An Afghan border forces soldier stands guard at a U.S. forces base, which has been handed over to Afghan border forces in Dih Bala district of Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, inj July. Photo: Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua via Getty Images

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Wednesday the U.S. would cut its number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early 2021, per Reuters.

Details: "When President Trump took office, there were over 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan," O’Brien said at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, event. "As of today there are under 5,000 and that will go to 2,500 by early next year."

Of note: Trump contradicted O'Brien later on Wednesday, tweeting, "We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!"

  • The president did not elaborate.

The big picture: The U.S. struck a deal with the Taliban in February to begin a gradual drawdown of American troops from the country.

  • U.S. troops began withdrawing from Afghanistan under the peace agreement the following month.
  • The Trump administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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