US reduces troops in Afghanistan to lowest level since 2001

18 January 2021 (Last Updated January 18th, 2021 13:35)

The US has completed the previously announced drawdown of its troops in Afghanistan to the lowest levels since the war began nearly two decades ago in 2001.

US reduces troops in Afghanistan to lowest level since 2001
Currently, the US has 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Credit: Amber Clay / Pixabay.

The US has completed the previously announced drawdown of its troops in Afghanistan to the lowest levels since the war began nearly two decades ago in 2001.

In a statement, US acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said that there are now 2,500 service members in Afghanistan.

In November, outgoing US President Donald Trump announced that his administration will reduce the number of personnel from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January as part of a plan to bring home troops from ‘endless wars’.

In August, the US had 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, according to Nato’s Resolute Support Mission.

Miller said: “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 cease-fire.”

The US has also trimmed its presence in Iraq to 2,500 personnel following a successful Iraqi military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

However, the remaining forces will continue to work with their Iraqi counterparts to fight the remnants of the terrorist group.

Miller added: “The drawdown of US force levels in Iraq is reflective of the increased capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.

“We have long anticipated that the force level required to support Iraq’s fight against ISIS would decrease as Iraq’s capability to manage the threat from ISIS improves. Our ability to reduce force levels is evidence of real progress.”