Commanders and Pentagon officials had said in February that they would most likely have to draw down to the smaller residual force by late April or early May.
McGurk had already been planning to retire from his post in February, but in an email to his staff, he said he had decided to move his departure forward, to Dec. The insurgents effectively control around half the country and continue to carry out daily attacks on Afghan security forces. An American-backed militia of Kurdish and Arab fighters ousted the Islamic State from Manbij in mid, and since then it has been largely governed and protected by American-backed local councils.
Nevertheless, the news that the US will only keep a fifth of its current forces in Syria has still not prompted any military commitment from Paris or London. Afghanistan is nearing an endgame.
What it means for the Taliban An agreement between the Taliban and the U. The longer timetable would give the Trump administration more time to negotiate with European allies who had said they would not leave troops in Syria if the United States withdrew all its forces.
Mattis, an experienced, retired four-star Marine general, had been seen as a counterbalance to Mr.