The U.S. reportedly hasn't cut $1 billion in Afghan security aid amid Defense—State Department 'food fight'

Tim O'Donnell

Despite Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's March announcement that the U.S. would "immediately" reduce aid to Afghan security forces by $1 billion this year, the Pentagon is not actually withholding the funds, Reuters reports.

Five sources familiar with the matter told Reuters the Defense Department has been reluctant to halt the aid, which mostly covers food, fuel, equipment, and infrastructure for Afghan troops and police. Defense Secretary Mark Esper also reportedly hasn't provided any guidance on how the cuts would theoretically be carried out, even though Pentagon officials and U.S. commanders in Afghanistan have been asked on multiple occasions to give Congress details about how they'd make the cut.

It's unclear why the cuts haven't been made — per Reuters, the Trump administration may have decided against it or there may be a split between the two departments, which at least one source believes is the case.

"There have been no reductions of any funding this year," said a congressional aide. "As far as I can tell, it was a food fight between State and DOD." Read more at Reuters.

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