US Is to Reduce Its Military Contingent in Afghanistan by the end of November

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The US plans to reduce by the end of November the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan from the current 8,600 to less than 5,000. This stated the country's defense minister Mark Esper. The US plans to reduce its military contingent in Afghanistan to less than 5,000 by the end of November. On Sunday, August 9, Defense Minister Mark Esper said in an interview with the American Fox News channel. President Donald Trump made a similar statement a few days earlier. According to him, after reducing, there will remain "somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000" of the American military contingent. Currently, there are 8,600 US troops stationed in Afghanistan. Bundeswehr is counting on US forces The Bundeswehr reacted calmly to the American side statement. According to the German department spokesman, reducing the American military contingent did not come as a surprise to the allies and should take place in close coordination with partners on the spot. In the course of fulfilling its military tasks, the Bundeswehr can count on key US skills in the future, the German Defense Ministry’s spokesman said, quoted Reuters. Further steps will be agreed within NATO, he added. About 1,000 German troops are stationed in the Hindu Kush as part of a NATO-led mission. The United States began withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in March 2020. Gradual US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan is spelled out in the peace agreement signed by the US and the Taliban on February 29. In exchange for partial US troops withdrawal, the Taliban must provide assurances that it will fight the Islamists and begin peace talks with the Afghan government in Kabul. If the Taliban fulfill their obligations, the United States is ready to withdraw all its troops and the troops of its allies within 14 months. The agreement also provides for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.