In Afghanistan, Sen. Lindsey Graham Says U.S. Troop Drawdown Coming

Trump could reduce number of troops from 12,000 to 8,600 in the coming year, Graham says

A United States Airman holds up an American flag as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to military personnel in an unannounced visit to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, November 28, 2019.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Donald Trump will announce an American troop drawdown from Afghanistan this week, which will likely begin next year.

Speaking from the Afghan capital of Kabul, Graham said the president could reduce troop numbers to 8,600, down from the current 12,000. He said Afghanistan's National Security Forces are up to the task of defending their country.

Still, Graham has opposed a full U.S. troop withdrawal, saying Monday that America's withdrawal from Afghanistan must be “condition-based" and that the Taliban must keep the promises they make during talks.

Recently-resumed peace negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban are again “paused” after an attack Wednesday outside Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul.

The attack killed two Afghans and wounded 70 others. Five U.S. soldiers were slightly injured.

He said reduction of force is possible this year as the Afghan forces are taking over and I support it.