Pentagon Leaders Want To Maintain Troops In Afghanistan As Forces Are Quietly Reduced

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President Donald Trump said military leaders have convinced him to keep a troop presence in Afghanistan. (Capt. Roxana Thompson/Army)

Military Times: Trump: Pentagon leaders want to keep troops in Afghanistan

President Donald Trump said he wants to get U.S. troops completely out of Afghanistan but said Pentagon leaders have convinced him not to, saying the American military presence there is preventing terrorist attacks.

In an interview aired Monday on Fox News (but taped before his visit to North Korea), the president said that the U.S. military force in Afghanistan has dropped to about 9,000 service members, around the same level as when he took office. He added that he wants an end to the 19-year-old war.

“We have the greatest fighters in the world,” Trump said. “But when you’re 19 years, you’re really becoming like a police force. So we have pulled it back.”

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WNU editor: I was surprised when I read this …. US troops in Afghanistan down nearly half as Trump quietly reduces forces (Stars and Stripes/AP)