KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Had it not been for dozens of U.S. airstrikes in recent weeks, the southern hub city Kandahar would be under siege, after Taliban fighters threatened to overrun several surrounding districts, security officials say.
Now with President Trump’s orders to cut American forces in Afghanistan by roughly half — from 4,500 to 2,500 — Kandahar’s fate, and the fate of the Afghan security forces spread across the country, are once more in question.
“If it were not for the air support of U.S. forces, the Taliban would be sitting inside Kandahar city now,” Col. Zabiullah Ghorzang, an Afghan Army regimental commander in Kandahar Province, said Tuesday.
The Pentagon on Tuesday formally announced those troop cuts, stopping short of the full withdrawal by Christmas that Mr. Trump had mused about publicly and ensuring that the war in Afghanistan will transition to a fourth American administration over almost 20 years of conflict.
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Afghan Army, Pentagon
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, U.S, Kandahar, Kandahar Province, American