The Pentagon has finally made the announcement President Trump has been waiting for, and conservatives are excited.
Ending the endless wars has always been a position of the president, and it might finally be happening. The military has met its goal of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to around 2,500.
The drawdown in troops was officially ordered by President Trump in November of 2020. Keeping that promise, he announced on January 14 that troop levels in Afghanistan had hit a 19-year low.
“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,” Christopher Miller, the acting secretary of defense, said in a written statement.
Miller also confirmed that 2,500 troops is enough for the military to continue its goals of countering extremist groups in Afghanistan and training Afghan government forces.
“Continued fulfillment of these two complementary missions seeks to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to harbor those who seek to bring harm to the United States of America,” Miller said.
In February of 2020, the Trump administration made a deal with the Taliban to reduce troop levels in phases, ultimately reducing the number to zero by May of 2021. That is reportedly still the plan, though Miller said that “any such future drawdowns remain conditions based.”
It is not yet clear whether the Joe Biden administration will keep the plan in place, as many people assume that his administration will simply be a continuation of Obama’s presidential policies, which led to more war in the Middle East.
Biden is widely seen as an establishment politician, as he has been in political office for 47 years. Biden was one of many who championed the war in Iraq, though he has flip-flopped on the issue of war several times throughout his tenure in government.
CBS affiliate WYMT reports that the reduction in troops may “violate a last-minute congressional prohibition.” This is not surprising, as the establishment politicians in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, blatantly favor endless wars in the Middle East.
WYMT further explained that, “Under the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress two weeks ago, the Pentagon was explicitly forbidden to use money from this year’s or last year’s budget on reducing the number of troops below 4,000 — or below the number that was in the country the day the bill was finalized.”
President Trump vetoed the NDAA, but the House and Senate both chose to override his veto. The Pentagon has not yet explained how it is going to justify its actions, which appear to have violated the act.