The United States will reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 in January 2021, the smallest American contingent in two decades of war, announced Tuesday, November 17 the Pentagon, following the will of Donald Trump who had promised to put a end to "
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About 2,000 soldiers will withdraw from Afghanistan by January 15, and 500 more will leave Iraq leaving only 2,500 troops in each country, said the new acting defense minister, Christopher Miller.
The withdrawal will come as Donald Trump, defeated in the presidential election by Democrat Joe Biden, cedes power on January 20.
This decision reflects the wish of the American president "
to end successfully and responsibly the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and to bring our courageous soldiers home,
" he said.
Before the Pentagon's announcement, several US and foreign officials warned against a hasty and total withdrawal that would favor extremist groups like al-Qaida or the Islamic State group.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell estimated on November 16 that the United States would “
” its allies by withdrawing too quickly.
For NATO, Afghanistan could "once
again become a base for international terrorists
US forces "
remain committed to protecting the security of the American people and supporting our allies and partners around the world,
" said Christopher Miller.
Since the launch of the military offensives in Afghanistan in 2001 then in Iraq two years later, more than 6,900 American soldiers have died and more than 52,000 have been wounded in these two theaters of war, according to the Pentagon.
Peace talks are underway between the Taliban and the Afghan government, following an agreement between Washington and the insurgents that confirms the withdrawal of American forces by mid-2021.
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