Acting Pentagon chief Christopher Miller said Tuesday that the United States will reduce its military presence in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops and 2,500 troops in Iraq by Jan. 15.
The United States has approximately 4,500 troops currently in Afghanistan and more than 3,000 in Iraq.
Last week, Miller ascended to the Pentagon’s acting Secretary of Defense role after President Donald Trump’s sudden termination of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
In an early Saturday morning message to Department of Defense employees, Miller said he was “weary of war” and that it was time to end America’s conflicts in the Middle East.
NEW: Acting Defense Sec. Chris Miller announces reductions in troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by January 15.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 17, 2020
Acting-Defense Secretary Christopher Miller right now announcing withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.
His Senate-confirmed predecessor had told the WH doing so right now would be a mistake, and that he, CentCom & Afghanistan commanders were unanimous in that assessment
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 17, 2020
From Iran to Yemen to Afghanistan, Trump and Pompeo are implementing a series of spiteful, last minute, lame duck policy changes intentionally designed to constrain the options available to a Biden presidency. https://t.co/gjzBjTTIT7
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 17, 2020
Acting SecDef Chris Miller exits stage right immediately after announcing troop drawdowns in Afghanistan, Iraq a “prudent well planned and coordinated transition” something the WH is supposed to be **proud of – but takes zero questions
— Gordon Lubold (@glubold) November 17, 2020
The Trump Administration has made huge strides in the Middle East: taking out terrorist leaders, brokering historic deals, & moving US forces into support roles as Afghans lead the fight for their country.
Premature retreat would put this record at risk. https://t.co/egVaLJSIlS
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 16, 2020