WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States would maintain a force in the area of Afghanistan even if Washington reaches an agreement with the Taliban to end the 18-year war that began after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States by al Qaeda.
“Oh yeah, you have to keep a presence,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News radio. “We’re going to keep a presence there. We’re reducing that presence very substantially and we’re going to always have a presence. We’re going to have high intelligence.”
Trump said the U.S. force level in Afghanistan was being reduced down to 8,600 “and then we make a determination as to what happens.”
(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)