President Donald Trump has said the United States will keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan even if Washington reaches an agreement with the Taliban.
Trump said in an interview with Fox News radio on Thursday that US troop levels in Afghanistan would drop to 8,600 if a deal were reached.
“We’re going down to 8,600 [troops] and then we make a determination from there,” the US president said. “We’re always going to have a presence.”
Trump also said if another attack on the US originated from Afghanistan, “we would come back with a force like … never before”.
Trump went on to say that there was to be no complete withdrawal and that the US would keep a force to gather “high intelligence”.
The US president earlier boasted he could “win” the Afghanistan war “in a week” without using nuclear weapons.
Washington has been talking to the Taliban since at least 2018, when Trump said he wanted to end military involvement in Afghanistan.