27,122. 8/1/2019

AFGHANISTAN/MILITARY/NATO/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “The Trump administration is in the midst of carrying out a dramatic scaling back of the US embassy in Afghanistan, with the goal of cutting half of the embassy’s personnel by the end of September, according to five sources familiar with the matter. The diplomatic draw down comes as the US is hopeful that a peace deal will be reached with the Taliban that would pave the way to reduce the number of US troops in the country from approximately 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000 in the coming months, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. The goal of the troop reduction had been relayed to the Afghan government by Gen. Scott Miller, the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and US Special Eepresentative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. As part of the diplomatic scale back, the State Department is sending home diplomats from Kabul without replacements, cutting back on security personnel, closing some facilities and cancelling proposals to build additional structures like new apartments for embassy personnel.”

Kylie Atwood, “US scaling back Afghanistan embassy at crucial moment in peace talks,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, August 1, 2019 8:50 pm

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