It’s official: US withdrawing thousands of troops in Afghanistan, Iraq by January 15 Nine Line News Team November 17, 2020 Nine Line News Today, Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller officially announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia by mid-January. The Pentagon will pull out approximately half of the 4,500 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan and about 500 of the 2,500 troops currently in Iraq. “I am formally announcing that we will implement President Trump’s orders to continue our repositioning of forces from those two countries [Afghanistan and Iraq],” Miller said. “By January 15, 2021, our forces … in Afghanistan will be 2,500 troops. Our force size in Iraq will also be 2,500 by that same date.” Miller paid tribute to the 6,900 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and 52,000 more who fought in the war on terror. “We will finish this generational war and bring our men and women home. We will protect our children from the heavy burden and toll of perpetual war,” Miller said. The pullout itself isn’t a surprise, as the troop reductions are in line with what national security adviser Robert O’Brien said in mid-October. However, at the time, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later labeled the comments as “speculation” because no presidential decision had been made. A lot has happened since then. There was an election. And President Trump fired Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense, and installed Miller as acting secretary. For now. As ABC News reports, Under the peace deal signed between the U.S. and the Taliban earlier this year, the U.S. committed to pull out all of its troops by May, 2021 as long as the U.S. judged that the Taliban was abiding by the agreement not to attack U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. In his first official message to the forces last week, Miller hinted that the war against Al Qaida in Afghanistan might be ending. “We are on the verge of defeating Al Qaida and its associates, but we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish,” Miller wrote. “Indeed, this fight has been long, our sacrifices have been enormous, and many are weary of war — I’m one of them — but this is the critical phase in which we transition our efforts from a leadership to supporting role.” “All wars must end,” he added. “Ending wars requires compromise and partnership. We met the challenge; we gave it our all. Now, it’s time to come home. In soccer, it’s possible to end a game with a draw. Time is up, and the teams pack up and go home. It’s not generally that way in our American sports. We’ll go into overtime to get to victory. But maybe this time enough is enough. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.