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Miller told reporters at the Pentagon that ‘I am formally announcing that we will implement the orders of President Trump to re-position his army in Afghanistan and Iraq’. Christopher Miller stated that ‘by January 15, 2021, our force size in Afghanistan will be 2,500 soldiers. In Iraq too, the size of our force will increase to 2,500 on the same day.
Miller further stated that ‘this is Trump’s decision. Which is based on his continued engagement with his National Security Cabinet for the past several months, including ongoing discussions with me and my colleagues in the US. ‘ He said that along with prominent leaders in the Congress, who are our allies in foreign affairs, he had talked about this in the first day to give a fresh position in this matter.
The order to withdraw the troops comes just a week after Trump removed former defense minister Mark Asper and replaced him as acting defense minister Christopher Miller.
Significantly, the US and Taliban signed an agreement on 29 February for peace in Afghanistan. The agreement in Qatar includes protection of foreign troops, keeping terrorist organizations such as the Al Qaeda by the Taliban away from the soil of Afghanistan and the release of prisoners. The agreement also calls for the full withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan in 14 months and to begin negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban soon.
Before the announcement of President Trump’s withdrawal of troops, the White House National Security Advisor Robert O. Bryan claimed that by the beginning of 2021, a satisfactory number of troops from Afghanistan would be reduced. At an event held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he stated that ‘when President Trump took office, there were 10,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan. At present, their number is 5 thousand. By the beginning of next year, this number will come down to 2500.
President Donald Trump said in October that all remaining soldiers in Afghanistan would return to the US by Christmas. He made this statement on the occasion of the completion of 19 years of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Let me tell you that during the fight with Taliban in Afghanistan, about 2400 American soldiers have lost their lives, while several thousand soldiers have been badly injured.