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afghanistan war

Trump administration explores withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan

The White House is reportedly considering the possibility of withdrawing "most" American forces from Afghanistan as President Trump's advisers struggle to reach an agreement about how to proceed in the 16-year-old conflict, The Wall Street Journal reports. "It is becoming clearer and clearer to people that those are the options: Go forward with something like the strategy we have developed, or withdraw," one senior administration official said.

There are more than 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan, and talk of sending up to 3,900 more has failed to move forward. Many U.S. military leaders disagree with any plan to reduce troops, claiming that American soldiers are needed to prevent the Taliban from increasing its influence in the region. Yet Defense Secretary James Mattis has noted that America is "not winning" and experts say the addition of a few thousand more troops is not likely to end the Afghanistan war, even as "Trump ran for president saying he'd end foreign entanglements," Politico writes.

"It's a macro question as to whether the U.S., this administration, and this president are committed to staying," the administration official added to The Wall Street Journal. "It doesn't work unless we are there for a long time, and if we don't have the appetite to be there a long time, we should just leave."