August 29, 2019 / 2:12 PM / 2 months ago

Trump: U.S. will maintain presence in Afghanistan even if deal reached with Taliban

WASHINGTON, Aug 29 (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

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