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The U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan Just Got More Complicated

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Kaman helps secure an area along the Pech River during a meeting between key leaders in the Kunar province of Afghanistan (Image: Staff Sgt. Joshua Gipe, U.S. Army)

In February 2020, the Trump administration signed a deal with the Taliban, which secured a withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 2021, after almost 20 years of continuous U.S. military presence. A little over a year later, the Biden administration is still determining whether or not to stick to the agreement, which would require a full withdrawal of 2,500 troops deployed there over the next seven weeks.

But that number, provided by the Department of Defense, isn’t quite the full tally: On Sunday, the New York Times reported that 1,000 more troops are in Afghanistan than stated in the official count. The service members, considered “off the books” according to one senior U.S. official, include Joint Special Operations Command units, working under both the CIA and the Pentagon, as well as some temporary and transitioning military units.

Read More ( New York Magazine ) …
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