National Defense Authorization Act Bars US Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

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U.S. officials announced a new defense policy bill on Thursday that would prevent the withdrawal of American soldiers from Afghanistan, which goes in direct violation of President Donald Trump’s previous promise of pulling out 2,500 forces in the region by mid-January.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) seeks to reduce funding that would be used to withdraw several U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The order would remain until the Pentagon, State Department, and director of national intelligence complete their review of the order’s effect on the country.

The assessment is required before troops could be pulled from the highly contested country. Additionally, another assessment would have to be conducted before the remaining troops in Afghanistan could be reduced below 2,000.

The compromise is known as the conference report and argues that the United States aims to maintain its national security interests of denying terrorists free reign in Afghanistan. It also declares to protect the American homeland and continue the good relationship between the two countries, and protect the rights of vulnerable people in the country.

In November, Trump ordered the American military to reduce the number of troops in the region from 4,500 to 2,500 by January 15. The order was issued despite several U.S. and military officials arguing that the Taliban has not yet fully committed to their counterterrorism promises announced in February, News Max reported.

The deal between the U.S. and the Taliban state that American officials reduce their troops in Afghanistan by May of next year. However, the reduction would only be upheld if the insurgent group keeps their commitments.

The section about barring U.S. troops’ withdrawal in Afghanistan is only one of several in the NDAA that rebuke Trump’s orders. Similarly, the act limits the U.S. president’s power of reducing troops in Germany and a requirement for the Pentagon when renaming Confederate-named bases.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.