Former Afghanistan commander warns cutting troops gives Taliban leverage; calls Trump ‘immoral’

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The previous high U.S. commander in Afghanistan mentioned Sunday that the U.S. may have “mainly traded away the most important leverage level we have now” if the Trump administration orders a troop withdrawal after greater than 17 years of conflict — the longest battle in American historical past.

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal mentioned on ABC’s “This Week” that withdrawing as much as half the 14,000 American troops serving in Afghanistan would scale back the inducement for the Taliban to barter a peace deal.

“In case you inform the Taliban that we’re completely leaving on date sure, chopping down, weakening ourselves, their incentives to attempt to reduce a deal drop dramatically,” mentioned McChrystal, who added that he was additionally anxious that the Afghan folks will lose confidence within the dependability of the U.S. as an ally.

“I believe we in all probability rocked them,” he mentioned.

McChrystal’s feedback got here in response to studies that President Trump had ordered the Pentagon to develop plans to withdraw hundreds of U.S. forces by subsequent summer time.

Outgoing Protection Secretary Jim Mattis talked about the possible order in his resignation letter. Mattis’ final day within the administration is Monday.

McChrystal additionally criticized Trump personally, saying he doesn’t imagine the president tells the reality.

The remark got here when co-host Martha Raddatz requested McChrystal what he would say if he had been requested to affix the Trump administration.

“I believe it’s necessary for me to work for individuals who I believe are mainly trustworthy, who inform the reality as greatest they comprehend it,” he mentioned. “I am very tolerant of people that make errors as a result of I make so a lot of them — and I have been round leaders who’ve made errors … however via all of them, I nearly by no means noticed folks making an attempt to get it incorrect. And I nearly by no means noticed individuals who had been overtly disingenuous on issues.”

When requested if Trump is immoral, McChrystal responded: “I believe he’s.”

Sunday was not the primary time McChrystal has criticized a sitting president. President Barack Obama accepted McChrystal’s resignation in June 2010 after he made scathing remarks about administration officers — together with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in a Rolling Stone journal article.

McChrystal commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan for a couple of 12 months.

The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their fight mission in 2014 in Afghanistan, however American and allied troops stay, conducting strikes on the Islamic State group and the Taliban and dealing to coach and construct the Afghan navy.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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