US orders big drawdown at Kabul embassy as troops leave

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Tuesday ordered a significant number of its remaining staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to leave Afghanistan as the military steps up the pullout of American troops from the country.

The order came as the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan told lawmakers that it no longer made sense to continue the 20-year deployment of American troops there. At the same time, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said he shared lawmakers’ concerns that the rights of women and minorities could be jeopardized after the withdrawal is complete.

“We should all remain concerned that those rights could suffer,” Khalilzad told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Asked

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