President Donald Trump is expected to issue a formal order soon to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by January 15 — the lowest number of forces there since the early 2000s, according to the Associated Press on Monday.
There are currently about 4,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the president’s potential order would halve that presence and take a big step towards fulfilling his promise to bring U.S. troops home from overseas ears.
Trump is also expected to draw down the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 2,500, from approximately 3,000 there now.
The orders come after the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who resisted the president’s decisions to withdraw more troops from the Middle East.
Military leaders were reportedly told over the weekend about the planned withdrawals.
Trump’s Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller foreshadowed the drawdowns in a memo to the Pentagon sent early