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White House National Security Adviser takes shot at top general in open rift on Afghanistan

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien attends a briefing on Enhanced Narcotics Operations at the US Southern Command in Doral, Florida, on July 10, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

In an ongoing open rift among the most senior officials in the Trump administration, White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien seemingly took a shot Friday at the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, following Milley's public skepticism about the White House's announcement that the US will aggressively reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan by the end of the year no matter what.

(CNN)In an ongoing open rift among the most senior officials in the Trump administration, White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien seemingly took a shot Friday at the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, following Milley's public skepticism about the White House's announcement that the US will aggressively reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan by the end of the year no matter what.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a question about O'Brien's comments, but the Department of Defense has long said that additional troop reductions in Afghanistan will be contingent on the conditions on the ground improving, and the Taliban's adherence to the agreement it signed with the Trump administration in February.

And while Pentagon officials have said that the Taliban has yet to fully sever its ties to terrorists, the US has already substantially reduced the number of US troops in Afghanistan, drawing down from over 10,000 to 8,600 immediately upon signing the agreement and cutting troop levels to 4,500 despite continued Taliban attacks against the Afghan government.

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