The White House has not issued any orders for the United States military to reduce the presence of the 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan declared on Monday while en route to the country on an unannounced trip.
Under a prospective peace deal, Shanahan said the U.S. “wouldn’t abandon Afghan forces in training and fighting terrorism,” the Afghan Defense Ministry revealed, according to WSJ.
Of the more than $132 billion in American taxpayer funds devoted to nation-building since the war began in October 2001, U.S. officials have spent more than $83 billion to developing and training the Afghan security forces, which may include Taliban commanders after a peace pact.
The Taliban came out against President Trump’s proposal of leaving behind a residual American force to conduct counterterrorism operations and monitor the terrorist group’s promises, saying “all” foreign troops must leave the country.
While the Taliban wants all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan, the group expects the United States to continue funding nation-building efforts in the country.