Following through on President Donald Trump’s promise to draw down troops in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed the target is no more than 5,000 by the election.
“We’re going down to a number less than 5,000 by the end of November,” Esper told Fox News’ “Justice” with Judge Jeanine Pirro. “We need to brief Congress what that looks like.”
The troop withdrawal is supported by Central Command and throughout the administration, but it will be “conditions-based,” Esper added.
“Right now, we think that we can do all the core missions, first and foremost being ensured the United States is not threatened by terrorists coming out of Afghanistan,” he said. “We can do those at a lower level.”
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