President Trump is reportedly planning to order another troop withdrawal of our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan before inauguration:
WASHINGTON TIMES – President Trump is expected to announce as early as this week that the U.S. will withdraw additional troops from Iraq and Afghanistan just days before Inauguration Day in January.
The looming drawdown, first reported by CNN, suggests that the Pentagon is ready to bring down the number of troops stationed in the region despite pushback from officials and experts warning that a U.S. presence is necessary to defend American allies and assets.
According to early reports, the Defense Department has issued a “warning order” to commanders to start drawing up plans to reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each by Jan. 15 — five days before the presumed inauguration of Joseph R. Biden to the U.S. presidency.
A peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban, struck in February, calls for an end to America’s military presence in exchange for guarantees Afghanistan will never again become a safe haven for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
The U.S. had about 12,000 troops in the country when the deal was signed. The number is now about 4,500. There are roughly 3,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Administration officials have previously said the number of troops in Afghanistan will be down to 2,500 by early year, but Mr. Trump last month declared that he wanted all forces home by Christmas — far earlier than the mid-2021 deadline for full withdrawal laid out in the U.S.-Taliban deal.
My biggest concern about drawing troop levels down even further than they already are, especially in Iraq, is that it takes away more ability for America to respond in the region to potential threats.
This all started when Obama pulled out of Iraq in 2010, destabilizing the country. Now we’ve only got about 3,000 troops there and it looks like Trump wants to pair that down even more.
I’m no military expert, but is having large amounts of troops on aircraft carriers a good substitute for having large bases in countries like Iraq and Syria? Is 2,500 troops in Iraq enough to respond to big threats?