Iraq and Afghanistan Drawdown Plans Confirmed by U.S. Military Officials
Dec. 14, 2020 (EIRNS)—Military spokesmen for U.S. commands in both Iraq and Afghanistan confirmed plans for the drawdown of U.S. troops from both countries according to the statement issued by Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller on Nov. 17.
Col. Wayne Marotto, the U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, told Iraqi Kurdish news service Rudaw on Dec. 12 that the American military is reducing its footprint in Iraq. “The ISF (International Security Force) are doing better and as a result the Iraqis are doing better. The U.S. portion of the coalition is able to reduce its presence,” he said. “The ISF have made positive strides in professionalism, in their ability to operate independently to keep pressure on Daesh (ISIS),” he declared. Marotto reiterated that the United States would be drawing down its Coalition troops to 2,500 by Jan. 15, noting that they have already “departed a number of Iraqi facilities,” in an effort to reduce their “footprint” in Iraq.
At the same time, Marotto insisted that America would maintain its support of its “partners” in Syria and Iraq. “Approximately $1.3 billion worth of supplies and equipment is planned to be divested over the next 18 months for the Peshmerga,” funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and overseen by the U.S. military, he said.
Similarly in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, the U.S. commander in Kabul, said that the number of American troops in that country will be down to 2,500 by Jan. 15. “I have been ordered to reduce the U.S. military presence to 2,500; a part of this is in line with the U.S.-Taliban agreement; we downsize our troops in accordance with the conditions,” he told Afghan Ariana News. “Important for the Afghan people to understand is that we have discussed this with the Afghan security forces.”
“I have talked to Taliban about this, violence is too high; Taliban’s violence needs to come down,” Miller continued. “We have had many discussions about this; we have reaffirmed a historic opportunity in the ongoing peace process.”