U.S. may trim over 1,000 troops from Afghanistan in belt-tightening

By REUTERS
February 15, 2019 15:56
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MUSCAT/KABUL, Feb 15 - Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.

U.S. President Donald Trump told Congress this month he intended to reduce U.S. forces from Afghanistan as negotiators make progress in talks with Taliban insurgents, saying: "Great nations do not fight endless wars."



U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, the head of the U.S. military's Central Command, said the decision to reduce some of the roughly 14,000 American forces in Afghanistan was not linked to those peace efforts, however.



Instead, he said it was part of an effort by Army General Scott Miller, who took over the more than 17-year war effort in September, to make better use of U.S. resources.

"This is something that he started as he got into the position here and was looking at how we (can) be as efficient and as effective as we can be on the ground," Votel said in an interview during a trip to Oman.

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