The Trump administration has ordered the military to start withdrawing around 7,000 troops from Afghanistan – an abrupt shift in the 17-year-old war there and a decision that stunned Afghan officials. Afghanistan's military has been in charge of the country's security since 2014 when more than 100,000 NATO troops withdrew. Since then, U.S. forces have provided training and advice, assisting in military operations only when requested by Afghan troops.
However, the Taliban are stronger today than they have been since their ouster in 2001. They control or hold sway over nearly half the country, carrying out near daily attacks that mostly target Afghan security forces. Since leading the multi-nation invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the U.S. has lost more than 2,400 soldiers and spent more than $900 billion in its longest war In recent months, there has been a renewed effort to make progress on peace talks with the Taliban. Officials now worry that any move to withdraw U.S. troops this year could dampen those prospects and encourage the Taliban to wait it out until they can
take advantage of the gaps when U.S. forces leave.