USA

US Troops To Leave Afghanistan Before Next Presidential Election

As the Trump administration looks at exit plans, US negotiators have been involved in peace talks.

The US Secretary of State says America’s remaining troops in Afghanistan will start to pull out of the country before next year’s presidential election.

Mike Pompeo says he is acting on clear orders from Donald Trump.

It comes after two US servicemen were killed on Monday.

The conflict in Afghanistan continues to have a devastating impact on civilians in the country, and the latest UN figures document more than 3,000 casualties in the first half of 2019.

The organisation feels more must be done to combat the problem.

US troops training in Bagram, April 2018 (Picture: US Department of Defense).

As the Trump administration looks at exit plans, US negotiators have been involved in peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan officials.

The talks have focused on a safe withdrawal of US troops from the country, in return for insurgents guaranteeing Afghan territory would not be used by foreign militants, or pose a security threat to the rest of the world.

The withdrawal of troops could mean an end to 18 years of war.

The Taliban has said it will not agree to a ceasefire until foreign forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan, and have rejected the Afghan government as "a US-imposed puppet regime".

A total of 20,000 US and NATO coalition troops are still serving in Afghanistan, training, assisting and advising Afghan forces.