(FreedomJournal.org)- The United States will withdraw thousands of troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan.
By January 15, 2021, 2,500 troops will be withdrawn from the countries, only days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Christopher C. Miller, the acting secretary of defense, said during the announcement on Tuesday that the decision “does not equate change” to any policy or objective for the U.S.
Another official within the senior defense team said the withdraws are “consistent” with what President Donald Trump announced earlier in the year — way before the election — and is “consistent with his promise to the American people.”
Right now, the U.S. has 3,000 troops stationed in Iraq and 4,500 in Afghanistan.
Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser, commented on Tuesday:
“Moments ago, acting Secretary of Defense Miller announced major troop reductions in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Effective January 15, 2021, American troops in both countries will go to 2,500 personnel. Those troops will defend our embassies and the other agencies of the U.S. government doing important work in those countries. They’ll enable our American allies in their important missions in those countries. They’ll defend our diplomats and they’ll deter our foes.
“By May, it is President Trump’s hope that they will all come home safely, and in their entirety.”
This is another aggressive move from Trump in terms of his approach to the country’s defense. Last week, the president fired Mark Esper, the Defense Secretary. Media reports have said Esper was removed from his position because he was pushing back against Trump’s desire to remove troops from Afghanistan.
In a classified memo Esper sent to the White House before he was fired, the Defense Secretary said it was the “unanimous recommendation” of the military chain of command that America not reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan unless further conditions were met.
Sources told CNN that others within the Defense Department agreed with Esper, Marine General Kenneth McKenzie (the U.S. Central Command leader) and General Austin Miller (the commander of NATO’s mission in the country) that necessary conditions for withdrawal have not been met.
An inspector general also released a report Tuesday that said al Qaeda is in support of the president’s plans to withdraw some troops from Afghanistan. The terrorist group is also in support of the U.S. withdrawing from its agreement with the Taliban. Since that agreement was signed, al Qaeda claims the Taliban has carried out terrorist attacks on coalition personnel and the U.S.
The report read:
“The DIA reported that al-Qaeda leaders support the agreement because it does not require the Taliban to publicly renounce al-Qaeda and the deal includes a timeline for the United States and coalition forces to withdraw — accomplishing one of al-Qaeda’s main goals.”
While the natural reaction in Washington, D.C., has been to slam any decision President Trump makes, some Democrats were actually in support of this decision to drawn down troops. Included in that group was Representative Adam Smith from Washington state, who is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.