US military commanders are anticipating that a formal order will be given by President Donald Trump as soon as this week to begin a further withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before Trump leaves office on January 20, according to two US officials familiar.
The Pentagon has issued a notice to commanders known as a “warning order” to begin planning to drawdown the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops and 2,500 in Iraq by Jan 15, the officials said. Currently there are approximately 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller sent a seemingly contradictory message to the force on Friday saying the US must continue its battle against al Qaeda and the terrorist forces behind 9/11 while also saying it was time to bring troops home.
Commentators on CNN just now floated that Trump is doing this in the hopes of burdening Biden with an immediate crisis should the Afghan government topple without the presence of US support.
US military commanders are anticipating that a formal order will be given by President Trump as soon as this week to begin a further withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before Trump leaves office on January 20, per @barbarastarrcnn https://t.co/nZyo4NGLFB
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 16, 2020
Trump is angling to withdraw from Afghanistan and set fire to China diplomacy to force Biden to re-engage on multiple fronts, rooting for his failure.
✔ Newsflash: Joe’s a real President. He’s got this. Sit down Don.
— Chris Gibbs (@ChrisRGibbs) November 16, 2020