U.S. Military Drawdown in Afghanistan: Frequently Asked Questions [February 4, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Summary: "In 2021, a year that will mark the twentieth anniversary of the entry of U.S. troops into Afghanistan, U.S. forces there are at the lowest level since 2001 due to the Trump Administration's reduction of U.S. forces to 2,500 and its conditional commitment to the Taliban to withdraw fully by April 2021. [...] U.S. commanders state that the reduction of U.S. troops to 2,500 will not result in any major changes to the two complementary U.S. missions in Afghanistan, namely counterterrorism and training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces. However, some have implied that the troop level might result in adjustments to U.S. operations and limits to U.S. options. [...] The February 2020 U.S.-Taliban agreement also commits the United States to withdrawing from Afghanistan all 'private security contractors,' which have played an important role in U.S. operations. The drawdown also has implications for U.S. physical assets in the country and the considerable U.S. diplomatic presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. [...] Experts have laid out a number of approaches that the Biden Administration, which is reportedly conducting a review of the U.S.-Taliban agreement and broader U.S. Afghanistan policy, might take in light of the U.S. troop drawdown. These include withdrawing all U.S. forces by April 2021 as scheduled, pausing or reversing the withdrawal pending certain Taliban actions, and indefinitely supporting Afghan forces. This report will be updated to reflect related developments or new considerations."
CRS Report for Congress, R46670
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/