Trump wants forces reduced in Afghanistan: Pompeo

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US, Taliban keep open door to talks after summit scrapped

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump wants combat forces reduced in Afghanistan by the next US presidential election, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, introducing a timeline to Washington’s plan for cutting troop numbers there.
Trump’s South Asia strategy, unveiled in August 2017, called for an open-ended deployment of US forces with the goal of compelling the Taliban to negotiate peace with the Kabul government to end nearly 18 years of war.
“That’s my directive from the president of the US,” Pompeo told The Economic Club of Washington when asked whether he expects Trump to reduce troops in Afghanistan before the November 2020 election.
“He’s been unambiguous: End the endless wars, draw down, reduce. It won’t just be us,” he said, referring to Trump’s directive. “We hope that overall the need for combat forces in the region is reduced.”

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