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Why Washington's Foes Won't Welcome a Quick U.S. Pullout From Afghanistan

MIN READJan 3, 2019 | 13:00 GMT

Afghan commandos patrol the Achin district of Nangarhar province during a U.S.-Afghan military operation against Islamic State militants on Jan. 3, 2018.

Afghan commandos patrol the Achin district of Nangarhar province during a U.S.-Afghan military operation against Islamic State militants on Jan. 3, 2018. A U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could have big ramifications for the region.

(NOORULLAH SHIRZADA/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement late last month about the imminent withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria grabbed all the headlines, but it wasn't his only notice about a coming pullout. According to reports, Trump has also ordered the withdrawal of half of the 14,000 American forces in Afghanistan. Although the White House subsequently contradicted the reports on Dec. 28, Trump has made no secret of his distaste for the long U.S. involvement in the country. What's more, Washington's current efforts to reach a peace deal with the Taliban highlight its increasing impatience with the enduring war in Afghanistan and its desire to leave the conflict....

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