Quoting senior Pentagon officials, Newsweek reported on Monday that US personnel have been ordered to limit nearly all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as the Trump administration proposes cutting US troop strength in Afghanistan by nearly half to 6,000 as a means of finalizing “technical” details among Taliban leadership.
The withdrawal figure is subject to change, however, depending on the course of the ongoing conflict and the talks trying to end it, US officials said as quoted by Newsweek.
But, Gen. Miller said this article is “inaccurate and speculative”, citing unnamed sources who are likely as far from the subject as they are from Afghanistan itself.
“The characterizations of changes to our authorities and operations have no basis in fact,” he said. “We have no such orders and have made no such changes.”
This comes as the US and the Taliban negotiators wrapped up the eighth round of peace talks in Qatar. The two sides are expected to sign a peace agreement within the next few days which will provide the ground for US troop withdrawal and reduction of violence in Afghanistan.