Reports: Trump intends to announce withdrawal of 4,000 troops from Afghanistan

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump

President Donald Trump gestures before signing an executive order targeting what his administration says is growing anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to announce the withdrawal of around 4,000 troops from Afghanistan.

News outlets reported Saturday that officials say the Trump administration could make the troop-reduction announcement next week.

The president had told his advisers this year that he wanted to decrease the military’s presence in the country by the November 2020 election.

The expected announcement was first reported by NBC News, which says that according to three current and former U.S. officials, the withdrawal will leave between 8,000 and 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

CNN reports that a senior administration official had confirmed the statement could be made as early as next week, but its timing remains fluid.

Between 12,000 and 13,000 U.S. troops are serving in the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan.

In a statement, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan told NBC, “U.S. Forces-Afghanistan has not received orders to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan. We remain fully committed to the Resolute Support mission and our Afghan partners, and focused on our key objective: ensuring Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorists who threaten the United States, our allies or our interests.”

The White House declined to comment.

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