The US will slash troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to their lowest levels in nearly 20 years of war after President Donald Trump pledged to end conflicts abroad, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
Rejecting concerns that precipitous drawdowns could give up all the US has fought for, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said around 2,000 troops would be pulled from Afghanistan by January 15.
By the same date, more than 500 people will return from Iraq, leaving 2500 people in each country.
Miller said the move reflects Trump’s policy “to make the war in Afghanistan and Iraq a successful and responsible ending, and to enable our brave service personnel to return home.”
Miller said the United States has achieved its goal, which was set in 2001 after Al Qaeda attacked the United States. The goal is to defeat Islamic extremists and help “local partners and allies take the lead in fighting.”
“With the blessings of providence in the coming year, we will finish this generational war and bring our men and women home,” he said.