Small Wars Journal

Dunford Addresses Talk of Afghanistan Pullout at Holiday USO Show

Dunford Addresses Talk of Afghanistan Pullout at Holiday USO Show by J.P. Lawrence - Stars & Stripes

The mission for troops in Afghanistan continues as planned, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said amid reports of a partial pullout from the country, while speaking in front of hundreds of U.S. troops gathered at a USO celebrity holiday event Monday.

“There’s all kinds of rumors swirling around,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said. “The mission you have today is the same as the mission you had yesterday.”

The Trump administration reportedly ordered the Pentagon to make plans to withdraw some 7,000 troops from the country late last week, but Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told local media Sunday that orders of a pullout had not yet reached the leadership here.

On Christmas Eve, Dunford told the troops at this austere base about 60 miles south of Kabul that he’d ensure their leaders got word as soon as anything changes.

“When there is something else to tell you, I’ll make sure Gen. Miller knows in real time what changes may be taking place,” he said. “Right now, you’re American soldiers, you have a mission, just get after it.”…

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