Trump pulling 2,000 US troops from Afghanistan and more soldiers from Iraq by the end of his term
DONALD Trump is set to pull 2,000 US troops from Afghanistan and more soldiers from Iraq by the end of his term.
The Defense Department is set to cut the number of troops in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by January 15.
An additional 500 soldiers will be withdrawn from Iraq – with the figure dipping from 3,000 to 2,500.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced the cuts on Tuesday.
Miller said the decision fulfills Trump's pledge to bring forces home when conditions were met that kept the US and its allies safe.
He added that commanders and advisers agreed with the withdrawal plan before refusing to take questions from reporters.
A senior defense official told reporters that the move was a "collaborative decision" between the president and his "senior most military officials."
The new plan will accelerate troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan in Trump's final days in office, despite arguments from senior military officials in favor of a slower, more methodical pullout.
Critics say the Afghan withdrawal will undermine fragile security and hurt ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents.
The senior defense official told reporters on Tuesday that talks with the Taliban "are still very much ongoing" and confirmed "our goal is the peace deal."
White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said that it is Trump's hope that all US troops will be home from Afghanistan and Iraq by May.
"By May it is President Trump's hope that they'll all come home safely and in their entirety," O'Brien told reporters following the Pentagon announcement.
More to follow…
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