Trump admin urges troops in Afghanistan to withdraw from some areas: report

Trump admin urges troops in Afghanistan to withdraw from some areas: report
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Trump administration officials are urging U.S.-backed troops in Afghanistan to move to more heavily populated areas of the country to avoid attacks in isolated regions, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper, citing three officials familiar with the president’s war strategy, said the move away from sparsely populated areas will help concentrate resources on cities like Kabul. 

However, the Times reported that the strategy will likely ensure that the Taliban retains control of large swaths of land.

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The strategy is similar to those used under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama4 ways Hillary looms over the 2020 race Obama goes viral after sporting black bomber jacket with '44' on sleeve at basketball game Obama attends UNC-Duke basketball game MORE, creating further uncertainty about the U.S.'s future plans in the nearly 17-year-long war.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall Dems demand briefing, intel on North Korea nuclear talks Pompeo: US will not share information with countries using Huawei systems MORE said earlier this month during a surprise stop in Afghanistan that the U.S. would be willing to engage in peace talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban.

The discussions would be Afghan-led, with the U.S. playing a supporting role, Pompeo said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE announced a new strategy last summer that included bolstering U.S. forces in Afghanistan by a few thousand to help end a stalemate, bringing the U.S. troop presence to about 14,000.

Trump’s strategy also took away a timeline for withdrawal, saying it would be based on the conditions on the ground.