Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller officially announced Tuesday the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan until they were 2,500 troops on January 15 of 2021, of the 4,500 soldiers that there are currently, and a similar number in Iraq.
Miller has remarked in an intervention at the headquarters of the Department of Defense that the decision does not imply a change in policy and it is consistent with the strategic objectives of the United States.
At the moment, the United States maintains about 4,500 military personnel in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq. The substantial troop reduction ordered by outgoing President Donald Trump will occur as soon as a few days before the inauguration from his successor, President-elect Joe Biden.
Dismissal of the Pentagon chief
Trump fired in a sudden way on November 9 the until then Pentagon chief Mark Esper, a decision expected after the military this summer opposed the president’s plan to deploy the military in the repression of protests against police violence that shook the country.
At the same time, and in the same message through Twitter in which he fired Esper, the president announced the appointment as Miller’s new acting secretary of defense, until then director of Counterterrorism.
In late February, the Taliban and the US signed a landmark Doha agreement whereby the Americans announced the withdrawal of their troops in a period of 14 months, while the insurgents promised to prevent the Afghan territory from providing any support to terrorist activities in the future.
Furthermore, the Taliban pledged to release a thousand members Afghan security forces, and Kabul should do the same with another 5,000 insurgents, a process that after successive disagreements was completed in September, which started the long-awaited intra-Afghan talks in Doha that same month.