Acting US Def Sec Miller Formally Announces Plans to Cut Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq to 2,500 Each

US

Earlier on Monday, CNN reported, citing two US officials, that Pentagon anticipated President Donald Trump to issue an order this week regarding troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan by 15 January.

Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller announced on Tuesday that President Trump will cut the number of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500 each by 15 January 2021.

The decision falls in line with Trump’s intention to finish “endless wars”, as Miller said the moves were announced to “bring the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to a successful and responsible conclusion and to bring our brave service members home”. 

Reaction to Troop Reduction Announcement

Shortly after the decision was announced, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Trump hopes to bring all US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan home “safely and in their entirety” by May.

Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnel, reacted to the announcement moments later, warning against any major changes in the US foreign or defence policy, including the troops drawdowns, in the coming months.

Reports about the order to reduce troops in Afghanistan and Iraq emerged earlier on Monday, saying that a “warning order” to start planning the troops reduction was already released by Pentagon, despite warnings by then-Defence Secretary Esper against rapid withdrawal of the US forces from the countries.

Esper was replaced…

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