Pentagon to cut troop levels to 2,500 in Iraq, Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller declared on Tuesday that he aims to decrease the U.S. troop level in Afghanistan and Irak, adding that the resolution fulfills the promise made by President Donald Trump that both the Republicans and American allies will alert about a rapid withdrawal.
In Trump's final days, amid claims by top military leaders in favour of a more slow and methodical pull-out, the current strategy would speed troops withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Just five days after the departure of the troops, Trump declined to give Democrat Joe Biden his lack of election, who took office on January 20.
The proposal would slash the number of troops in Afghanistan from 4.500 to 2.500 and in Iraq from about 3.000 to 2.500, Miller added, who declined to answer questions from reporters.
Miller added that if things deteriorate, the US remains ready to react.
"If a deliberate campaign is being launched by the forces of terror, instability, division, and hate, we are prepared to apply the necessary abilities to thwart them," he told reporters in the Pentagon briefing in an estimated eight minute speech.
It is not Trump's repeated promise to stop the long wars in America. The retirement scheme is not enough.
It also contrasts with his orders that reductions of forces be focused on ground circumstances, not on a date in the calendar.
Military and defense officials in Afghanistan, especially, have repeatedly stated that the Taliban still does not fulfill demands on the reduction of violent attacks by the Afghan government powers.
Since the war in October 2001, U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan.
Any Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have already got a cool reception of the announcement and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's uncharacteristic harsh criticism.
The President holds his pledge to the Americans that they will pull American troops out of war zones, says Trump's National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.
"It is the hope that by May, President Trump, all will return home safely and fully," O'Brien told White House reporters shortly after Miller had made the Pentagon announcement.
"This policy isn't new, I'm going to reiterate," said O'Brien.
"Since he took office, this has been the President's policy."