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Defense Chief Says U.S. Will Cut Troops In Afghanistan Below 5,000

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says the United States is planning to cut back its troop levels in Afghanistan to "a number less than 5,000" by the end of November.

Esper made the remark in an interview with Fox News that was broadcast on August 8. His remarks add detail to troop reduction plans that U.S. President Donald Trump announced earlier in the week.

The United States currently has about 8,600 troops in Afghanistan. Trump said in an interview released on August 3 by Axios that the United States planned to lower that number to about 4,000.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Fox News, and Axios