Former Army officer Douglas Macgregor was appointed Senior Advisor to Executive Minister Miller. Macgregor is known as a critic of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The United States signed an agreement with the militant Islamist Afghan Taliban at the end of February that promises the gradual withdrawal of all US and NATO forces by the end of April 2021. The Taliban committed to peace talks with the government in Kabul, which began in September. However, the process stalled.
Trump had already promised in the 2016 election campaign to bring troops home. In particular, he pushed for the withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to US media reports, he was recently becoming increasingly frustrated with the pace of the withdrawal.
At the beginning of August, the US had informed its NATO allies that it wanted to reduce its troops from around 12,000 at that time to below 5,000 by the end of November. In mid-September, Trump announced that the troop strength should be quickly reduced to less than 4,000. Almost four weeks before the US election in early November, Trump even announced on Twitter that the soldiers should be back in the US by Christmas.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest in US history. American soldiers have been in the country since 2001. After the attacks of September 11th of that year, US-led troops marched in there.