load_file(“/includes/top.html”);load_file(“/includes/navmenu.html”);Pentagon confirms troops drawdown plan in Afghanistan, IraqSource: Xinhua Published: 2020/11/18 11:24:49load_file(“/includes/article_shareup.html”);Soldiers from the Kentucky-based 19th Engineer Battalion work in a public park in Laredo, Texas, where they are installing barbed and concertina-wire on Saturday. The soldiers are some of the thousands of US troops deployed to the US-Mexico border as part of a mission ordered by President Donald Trump to toughen the frontier and provide engineering and logistical support to Customs and Border Protection agents. Photo: AFP The Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed that US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq will be reduced to 2,500 level respectively by mid-January 2021.”By January 15th, 2021, our force size in Afghanistan will be 2,500 troops, our force size in Iraq will also be 2,500 by that same date,” said Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller at a Pentagon press briefing.Miller noted that the forces reposition plan, ordered by President Donald Trump, “is consistent with our established plans and strategic objective.”Currently, there are approximately 4,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and 3,000 troops in Iraq to support Iraqi forces in battles against remnants of the Islamic State, mainly for training and advisory purposes.Less than an hour after the Pentagons announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that “it is extremely important here in the next couple of months not to have any earthshaking changes with regard to defense and foreign policy.””A precipitous drawdown in either Afghanistan or Iraq would be a mistake,” the top Senate Republican added.The force reduction plan came after a reshuffle of Pentagon leadership last week. Trump on Nov. 9 appointed Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as acting defense secretary to replace former Pentagon chief Mark Esper, who reportedly had been pushing back on a premature withdrawal from Afghanistan.The war in Afghanistan, which has caused about 2,400 U.S. military deaths, is the longest one in U.S. history. Trump has long sought a full withdrawal from the country, but some of his senior aides from the military and the Pentagon suggested a condition-based withdrawal, a more cautious approach.The United States and Afghan Taliban signed an agreement in late February, which called for a full withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Afghanistan by May 2021 if the Taliban meets the conditions of the deal, including severing ties with terrorist groups.Commander of U.S. Central Command Kenneth McKenzie said that the Taliban “had not shown conclusively that theyre going to break with al-Qaeda.”Posted in: AMERICASvar wxs = (function() {return navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase().indexOf(micromessenger) !== -1})();if (!wxs) {/* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */var disqus_shortname = globaltimes; // required: replace example with your forum shortnamevar disqus_identifier = 1207206;/* * * DONT EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */(function () {var dsq = document.createElement(script); dsq.type = text/javascript; dsq.async = true;dsq.src = https:// + disqus_shortname +;(document.getElementsByTagName(head)[0] || document.getElementsByTagName(body)[0]).appendChild(dsq);})();}Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by comments powered by Disquswindow._taboola = window._taboola || [];_taboola.push({mode: thumbnails-a,container: taboola-below-article,placement: below article,target_type: mix});load_file(“/includes/adv_right.html”);load_file(“/includes/footer.html”);$(document).ready(function($){$(“#channel-list .row-content”).each(function(){  if($(this).children().length==1){$(this).children().css(width,100%);}
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