Esper not confident in Afghanistan troop withdrawal before election

Military Times:  Though the Pentagon is reportedly preparing an Afghanistan withdrawal scenario that would see more than 8,000 troops brought back stateside by early November, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that it’s only one option ― and not a particularly strong one.

The plan is still to bring troop levels down to 8,600 by July, Esper said, but any plan to pull out the remainder by the presidential election ― as cited in a Tuesday report by the New York Times ― does not seem likely at this point.

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