Thursday December 02, 2021

US troop levels cut to 2,500 in Afghanistan

January 16, 2021

WASHINGTON: The US military has cut troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each, their lowest levels in the nearly two decades since the wars began, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

Outgoing President Donald Trump, seeking to fulfill a campaign promise to end the two wars launched after the 9/11 attacks, had ordered force levels slashed in both countries to that level by January 15 -- despite initial pushback from the Pentagon.

Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said progress towards peace in both countries permits the cuts without a decrease in security for Americans and their counterparts. "Today, the United States is closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war and welcoming in an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire," he said in a statement.