Mon, 13 Jul 2020

WASHINGTON, May 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday suggested a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan but did not set a target date.

"We are there 19 years and I think that's enough ... we want to bring our soldiers back home, we can always go back if we have to," Trump told reporters at a White House news conference, underlining that the U.S. military is not meant to be a police force.

Trump denied Thanksgiving Day as the set date to pull out, saying he had no target. "Over a period of time, but as soon as reasonable," he added.

Trump's response came as media reports said Pentagon is drawing up plans to bring U.S. troops home before the presidential election.

Citing several officials, The New York Times wrote in a Tuesday piece that senior military officials are set to brief Trump in the coming days on options for a full withdrawal from the central Asian country, with one possible option being to pull out before the election.

The article said that senior military officials believe a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan would destroy the peace deal reached in late February with the Afghan Taliban.

The Pentagon said earlier this month that the United States was committed to the troops' drawdown plan stipulated in the agreement, despite continued violence in the war-torn country.

Under the agreement, the United States would reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 within 135 days, and all the U.S.-led coalition forces would return home within 14 months from Afghanistan if the Taliban meets the conditions of the agreement, including severing ties with terrorist groups.

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