Several defense experts lauded the Trump administration’s decision to proceed with troop draw-downs in Iraq and Afghanistan, but said the president could go further as he makes his way out in January.
“He could rip the bandaid off and and end America’s longest war in a few weeks,” said Gil Barndollar, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities, a think tank, as President Donald Trump orders troops in Iraq and Afghanistan down to 2,500 each. There currently remain 4,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq. Each have witnessed a sustained U.S. military presence for 20 years.
Logistically, Barndollar said during a Monday call with reporters, resources are there to bring the troops home. Trump “certainly has the ability to do this.” Tactically, Barndollar emphasized, it’s the threat of U.S. return to the region that will serve as the greatest tool to deter the its resurgence into a breeding ground of terrorism.
Retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, a senior