'No orders to withdraw' from Afghanistan, says top US general


WASHINGTON -- US forces have not yet been ordered to pull out of Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of US Central Command, said Thursday (March 7).

"We have not been directed to withdraw. There are no orders to withdraw anything," Votel told the US House Armed Services Committee.

"The political conditions of where we are in the reconciliation right now don't merit withdrawal," he said. "These decisions have to be based more on conditions than specific times" and must "pivot off political progress".

"My advice is that any decision to reduce forces in Afghanistan should be done in full consultation with our coalition partners and of course the government of Afghanistan," Votel said.

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