President Trump has ordered a major drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq this week and is expected to officially announce the move on Wednesday.
A senior administration official confirmed the rumors to the Washington Times on Tuesday evening.
Fulfilling campaign promises
“We kept America out of new wars, and we’re bringing our troops back home,” Trump told supporters at a campaign event at Winston-Salem on Tuesday. “We’re bringing them back home from all of these faraway places.”
Trump has been working on bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan since entering office, accomplishing more on this front in four years than the Obama administration accomplished in eight.
The Pentagon’s top officer in the Middle East confirmed Wednesday that Trump has ordered the withdrawal of 2,200 troops from Iraq within the coming weeks.
The Times reported:
One of Mr. Trump’s chief foreign policy achievements has been the destruction of the Islamic State’s physical “caliphate” across Syria and Iraq, and Gen. McKenzie said those efforts along with strides by regional security forces have enabled the drawdown.
He specifically said Iraqi security forces have made substantial progress and are now able to shoulder more of the burden.
“In recognition of the great progress the Iraqi forces have made and in consultation and coordination with the government of Iraq and our coalition partners, the United States has decided to reduce our troop presence in Iraq from about 5,200 to 3,000 troops during the month of September,” General McKenzie declared.
Afghanistan in the works
In addition to the Iraq drawdown order, Trump is working on bringing troops home from Afghanistan that have been stationed there since 2001.
According to reports, Trump is attempting to draw the number of troops in Afghanistan down from 8,500 to between 4,000 and 5,000 before Election Day in November.
Though Republican presidents have a reputation for being war hawks, Donald Trump has bucked the trend consistently during his presidency. In addition to his efforts to broker peace and draw down the US presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, Trump has made major strides in brokering peace deals in other embattled areas of the middle east.
After successfully brokering a historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates last month, President Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by a Norwegian parliamentarian on Tuesday.
Trump’s significant efforts to minimize the US’s presence in the middle east present a quandary for Democrats and the mainstream media. Bringing the troops home from the middle east has long been a goal of anti-war Democrats and leftists, but they didn’t want Donald Trump to be the one to fulfill that goal.