In Afghanistan, Sen. Graham says US troop drawdown coming

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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during a press conference at the Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. In a surprise visit to Afghanistan, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Donald Trump will announce an American troop drawdown this week, which could begin before the end of the year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Donald Trump will announce an American troop drawdown from Afghanistan this week, which will likely begin next year.

Speaking from the Afghan capital of Kabul, Graham said the president could reduce troop numbers to 8,600, down from the current 12,000. He said Afghanistan’s National Security Forces are up to the task of defending their country.

Still, Graham has opposed a full U.S. troop withdrawal, saying Monday that America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan must be “condition-based” and that the Taliban must keep the promises they make during talks.

Recently-resumed peace negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban are again “paused” after an attack Wednesday outside Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul.

The attack killed two Afghans and wounded 70 others. Five U.S. soldiers were slightly injured.

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This story has been corrected to show that the troop drawdown will begin in 2020, not this year.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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