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Trump’s Defense Policies Take a Toll on Pentagon Officials

The decisions being taken by Donald Trump this week have been creating an extensive turmoil. In his latest move, the President announced to pull out half of all the US troops from Afghanistan. The announcement came in contrast with his significant military efforts of counter terrorism.

The orders of the withdrawal plans were issued on Friday at a White House meeting, which suggest that the American military presence in Afghanistan would reduce from 14,000 troops to 7,000.

Trump had also shocked the administration earlier this week, with the decision he took without an advice from the top advisers. On Wednesday, he announced to withdraw the US military forces in Syria, a move that agitated the Defense Secretary James Mattis, who swiftly resigned on Thursday over substantial policy differences with the President.

Trump’s decision regarding the American presence in Afghanistan is the second momentous announcement that created a buzz in the White House. It is being predicted that the execution will drastically downsize the Pentagon efforts to back and assist the Afghan forces.

One of the officials informed that a decision had been made, and the orders to commence the planning for the draw down had also been articulated. The officials said that while the timelines are being discussed, chances are that it could happen in weeks or even months.

The major concern being raised at present is that how the US would be able to achieve the set missions — conducting an air campaign against Taliban and other militant groups, training the Afghan forces, and advising them in the field — with just 7,000 troops in Afghanistan.

It has been asserted that the Trump administration would have to curtail the mission. However, a threat remains that the Taliban might get an opportunity to expand their offensives across Afghanistan.

The United States commenced a war in Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the home country. Its sole mission was to oust the Taliban militants sheltering a Saudi-raised militant, Osama bin Laden.

However, Donald Trump has now raised concerns to an ally about the US military presence in Afghanistan. He said, “What are we doing there? We’ve been there all these years.”

According to media reports, a source has stated that the President “has lost all patience” with the US military presence in the war-torn country.

However, the Defense Secretary Mattis opposed Trump’s decision, arguing that maintaining strong American presence there is essential to strengthen diplomatic peace efforts. He resigned shortly after the US officials announced Trump’s plan to order the draw down.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is expected to replace Mattis, also warned of potential menace if the draw down takes place. He said, “The conditions in Afghanistan – at the present moment – make American troop withdrawals a high-risk strategy. 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.”

The dual decisions of the President that came this week have bewildered majority of the US authorities. Republican senators, defense officials, as well as the top advisers have expressed disagreement on Trump’s defense plans, which came without any deliberations in advance.

It still remains a riddle that why has Trump taken such a crucial decision without taking any advice from the senior advisers or the Pentagon officials. If the discussions have not taken place at home, are these moves influenced from the authorities of the allied countries of the United States?

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