Neither Trump’s South Asian Policy sounds a well-thought-out policy, nor do his latest announcements of withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan suggest that his foreign policy stands on some concrete foundations. Instead, the recent decisions to withdraw forces from Syria and Afghanistan show how impulsive the president of the United States (US) is.

The Defence Secretary, Jim Mattis, had no other choice but to resign when Trump, instead of hearing him on Syria, decided to wrap up the US operations in Syria. It is worth recalling that it was Mr Trump who censured Obama’s administration for openly signalling to Taliban its plans for a drawdown. However, what is Trump doing now? Is he not following in the footsteps of his predecessor despite constant pleading from Jim Mattis to revise his decision?

Does the decision of calling troops back home signalling another defeat for the US on diplomatic front? While his decision to pull out the US forces from Syria was seen as Erdogan’s victory, the call for reducing troops in Afghanistan is seen by many as “America blinking the first” against Taliban.

The decision of calling its soldiers back by Trump has already taken many by surprise in his administration and the Afghan government. The reduction of forces in Afghanistan will allow the Taliban to assert a more aggressive tone in the peace talks. Not only the Taliban but also other actors like China, Russia, and Pakistan will also have more space in the negotiation process between the Taliban and the US.

While the Chief Adviser Fazel Fazly to Ashraf Ghani’s government in Kabul is hopeful that Trump’s decision to pull out half of the American soldiers will not affect the security of the country, the situation on the ground does not leave any space for such hopes. Just in last four years, more than 25,000 Afghan security personnel have fallen prey to the attacks of the insurgents. Such high casualties of Afghan forces, even in the presence of 14,000 American troops, reject the optimism of Mr Fazly.

Taliban, as well as other groups like Islamic State (IS), will become more aggressive post-withdrawal. Even if Taliban do not launch a new offensive as they are in the process of negotiations with the US, there is no guarantee and reason to believe that IS will not take advantage of the vacuum that the process of withdrawal will create. With the departure of the forces from Afghanistan, the ground situation will undergo seismic changes.