Mattis and other top military advisors a year ago persuaded Trump to commit thousands more troops to Afghanistan as part of a strategy that also included ramping up air strikes on the Taliban and its relatively small but potent rival, the Islamic State group.
The main Taliban spokesman told VOA Friday that during the two-day talks in Abu Dhabi, which stared on Monday, insurgent officials sought nothing but "a date or timeline" for all USA -led forces to pull out from Afghanistan.
US Army soldiers fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai, Kandahar, Afghanistan, June 12, 2011.
The withdrawal of half of the 14,000 US troops serving in Afghanistan will have little impact on the fighting capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces, the spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani said Friday.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid would not comment about the troop withdrawal when contacted by AFP.
Thursday morning, Trump tweeted that "Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the USA leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS, who they hate, without us".
Gen. John Allen, a former commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and USA forces in Afghanistan, told CNN on Thursday that a drawdown in Afghanistan would be a mistake.
Graham was also critical of Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria.More news: Nintendo Switch is Now America's Fastest-Selling Gaming Console
Afghan generals have voiced concern over rumors of U.S. forces' withdrawal from the country, fearing that this would give the Taliban radical movement the upper hand and completely disinterest them in engaging in negotiations, which they were reluctant to do in the first place. It is likely the Taliban, emboldened by recent battlefield successes, will only become more aggressive as US deployments dwindle.
India too could potentially suffer a jolt from Trump's move to take back his troops from Afghanistan. Trump, according to Woodward's book, expressed frustration with the U.S.'s presence in the Korean Peninsula, The Washington Post reports. "This will also force the Afghan government to think about peace as a short-term prospect instead of something that could be delayed for years".
Late last month, at least 22 Afghan police were killed in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan's western province of Farah, adding to the growing casualty toll on Afghan security forces.
The Afghan military will dissolve without American support, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., incoming Central Command chief, told lawmakers during a confirmation hearing earlier this month.
"We all know the morale of the Afghan forces has hit an all-time low, they are under-equipped, poorly paid and they lack coordination".
"It will take a while and there are some countries who are ready to exit".
But a withdrawal could be good if it ultimately results in the Taliban entering productive peace talks, said Shahla Farid, a law and political science professor at Kabul University. "This is an akin to surrendering", Graham said.
However, it is yet not clear if the recent plans regarding the withdrawal of the USA troops from the country has any links with the recent talks in Abu Dhabi.
"Considering the decision as a serious US endgame step, political elites in Kabul will probably aim to close ranks and raise questions about the timing and commitments made to maintain stability", says Omar Samad, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Atlantic Council and former Afghan diplomat.