[NFA] President Donald Trump will sharply reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday, stopping short of a full withdrawal from America's longest war.
President Donald Trump will sharply reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 before he leaves office, stopping short of the complete withdrawal he pledged to carry out by Christmas.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who Trump installed last week after firing Mark Esper, made the announcement on Tuesday at the Pentagon and also outlined a modest withdrawal of forces in Iraq, reducing troop levels there from 3,000 to 2,500.
“By January 15th, 2021, our forces, their size in Afghanistan will be 2,500 troops.
Our forces in Iraq will also be 2,500 by that same date.
This is consistent with our established plans and strategic objectives supported by the American people and does not equate to a change in US policy or objectives." White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien afterwards went further, telling reporters that Trump hoped that all U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan and Iraq in the spring.
“By May, it is President Trump's hope that they will all come home safely and in their entirety." Trump’s decision to limit himself to a partial withdrawal in Afghanistan was first reported by Reuters on Monday and triggered a rebuke from senior Republicans who fear it will undermine security and hurt fragile peace talks with the Taliban.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday again warned against any major changes in U.S. defense or foreign policy right now: “I think its extremely important here in the next couple of months not to have any earth-shaking changes in regard to defense and foreign policy.
Uh, I think a precipitous draw-down in either Afghanistan or Iraq would be a mistake.
I've so said publicly yesterday, and I hope thats precisely where these discussions end up." The withdrawals could hand President-elect Joe Biden a new set of challenges when he takes office on Jan.
U.S. and Afghan officials are warning of troubling levels of violence by Taliban insurgents and persistent Taliban links to al Qaeda.
It was those ties that triggered U.S. military intervention in 2001 following the al Qaeda Sept.
11 attacks on the U.S., leaving thousands of American and allied troops dead since then in America’s longest war.
India dispatched consignments of SII's Covishield to Myanmar, Seychelles and Mauritius. India is sending Covid-19 vaccines as part of donation program to neighbours and key partners. Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal were also part of India's initial rollout of vaccines. In addition, India plans to supply vaccine doses to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Covishield's commercial supplies to countries having agreements with SII have also begun. Two flights are slated to carry two million doses each to Brazil and Morocco on Friday. India is carrying out vaccine diplomacy under its 'Neighbourhood First' policy. Last week, India launched the world's biggest Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 02:46Published
The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives will deliver an impeachment charge against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, rejecting Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's request for a delay. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.
U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell responded Friday to the discovery that hundreds of National Guard members were sent to rest in a parking garage Thursday afternoon. The Guard members later returned to the Capitol.
Democrats now have majority of the U.S. Senate after Vice President Kamala Harris swore in three members on Wednesday to give the party a narrow grip on both houses of Congress as well as the White House for the first time in a decade. Bryan Wood reports.
[NFA] Aides to President-elect Joe Biden who are trying to arrange a smooth transition of power from the Trump administration have met resistance to their requests for information from some Pentagon officials, an official on Biden's team said on Friday. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.
As the President Joe Biden administration takes shape, India will continue to remain engaged at all levels and will work together, said Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava during a press briefing in New Delhi on January 22. "On January 20th after President Joe Biden assumed charge, PM Modi had sent him best wishes via Twitter. As the new administration takes shape, we will continue to remain engaged at all levels and work together," said MEA Spokesperson Srivastava.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo that she thinks “a very considerable amount, a lot of members” of the House “still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress,” as US Capitol Police are investigating an incident in which a Republican lawmaker was stopped from bringing a concealed gun onto the House floor.
A dozen members of the U.S. National Guard have been removed from duty helping secure the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden after vetting, which included screening for potential ties to right-wing extremism, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.
[NFA] President-elect Joe Biden on Monday accused the Trump administration of obstructing national security information in the transfer of power ahead of his inauguration on January 20th. Gavino Garay reports.
[NFA] President-elect Joe Biden said it was the "right moment" in U.S. history for his nominee for defense secretary, retired Army General Lloyd Austin, despite a law requiring the military's top brass to have been out of the armed forces for at least seven years before running the Pentagon. This report produced by Chris Dignam.
Estonia's envoy to India Katrin Kivi on GoI's decision to open a mission in Estonia expressed happiness. She called it a 'New Year gift' for Estonia. "It is a pleasure to address India's decision to open a resident mission in Estonia. This was really a kind of Christmas or New Year gift for the entire Estonia nation. We are very happy about it. This is proof of our bilateral relations. It's important for our trade relations but also politically as India and Estonia are good partners, this year we've also started working together in UNSC," said Estonia's envoy to India.