Trump to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before White House exit

According to current estimates, there are approximately 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq.

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U.S. military forces flying over Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2017. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

U.S. military commanders expect outgoing U.S. President Donald J. Trump to order further American troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq within the next two months.

According to U.S. officials, the Pentagon has reportedly issued a “warning order” to begin planning the withdrawal of thousands of forces, leaving both states with 2,500 personnel each.

According to current estimates, there are approximately 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq.

According to U.S. media, the withdrawal would be finished by the 15th of January, just days before Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.

A U.S. Marine supports a sandbag during the reinforcement of the U.S. Embassy Compound in Baghdad, Iraq. (Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot/USMC/AP)

Trump has also repeatedly pushed to withdraw from Syria.

Nonetheless, several hundred U.S. troops remain stationed there, partly to protect coveted oil fields held by American-backed, Syrian Kurdish allies, from being seized by the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

President Trump has long called for U.S. troops to come home and has criticized U.S. military interventions for being costly and ineffective.

During his 2016 campaign, a core promise was to bring troop levels in the Middle East and Afghanistan down to zero.

So far, it is estimated that U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has decreased by around 50%.

Nevertheless, those numbers cannot be verified due to the Trump administration’s decision to end a decade-long policy of disclosing official troop levels.

The U.S. President has previously said that he wants “all” troops home by Christmas.

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