Military ordered to begin reducing Afghanistan troop presence

Military ordered to begin reducing Afghanistan troop presence
There are roughly 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

(RNN) – President Donald Trump is ordering a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to reports.

According to CNN, the military is being ordered to withdraw about half of the troops there. The Wall Street Journal also reported that the order has been given.

It comes a day after the president on Wednesday ordered that the U.S. withdraw its troop presence in Syria.

According to a defense official who spoke to CNN, it could take months for roughly 7,000 troops to leave Afghanistan, cutting the forces there in half.

The president also announced on Thursday that Defense Secretary James Mattis was leaving his post at the end of February.

In a letter, Mattis said his departure was linked to unspecified disagreements with Trump. He reportedly had clashed with the president over the decisions on Afghanistan and Syria.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he disagreed with the decision, arguing that ISIS has not been defeated in Afghanistan.

“If we continue on our present course we are setting in motion the loss of all our gains and paving the way toward a second 9/11,” he said on Thursday.

He added that “this decision I believe has been made by the president not with sound military advice - against it.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat on the Armed Services Committee and combat veteran, tweeted that Congress should “defend our alliances and hold our adversaries accountable when Donald Trump refuses to.”

Lawmakers question decision to remove troops from Syria

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