6,585. 12/19/2005

“On December 19, 2005, [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld signed orders pulling out three thousand U.S. troops from the south [of Afghanistan], reducing the total number to sixteen thousand. It was the worst possible moment, as the largest Taliban offensive was about to unfold, but Rumsfeld refused to accept that the Taliban insurgency was expanding.”

 – Ahmed Rashid, Descent Into Chaos, Page 353

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