Acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher C. Miller, recently announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. He began by discussing the brave men and women who serve, including the 6,900 American troops who made the ultimate sacrifices for their nation in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the more than 52,000 who carry the wounds of war and carry scars, some seen, others unseen, from their service.
The announcement is a formal affirmation that the U.S. military will follow President Donald Trump’s orders to reposition our forces from those two countries. It is not a complete withdrawal of forces, but a marked drawdown of troops in a conflict that has been ongoing for nearly 20 years at this point.
Miller went on to stress that the decision is made in accordance with ongoing discussions among chief cabinet members, including himself, and will be done in a manner that protects the men and women who continue to fight for our nation, our intelligence partners, our allies, and our diplomatic corps.
Miller also included a warning for those seeking to interfere with our withdrawal plans. The warning was simple. The United States Armed Forces stand ready to protect and defend the safety and security of Americans as well as like-minded supporters and partners around the world. He goes on to add that forces of terror, hate, and division attempting to disrupt these efforts will find out quickly what it feels like to have the full force of our combined military reign down upon them.
He went on to thank Afghans and Iraqis who have partnered with our soldiers during the past two decades along with NATO allies, and other partners who have worked with us throughout our service in these nations. He also warns that we have destroyed ISIS and will never again allow them to develop a foothold.
This is more than a simple announcement of withdrawal. During the course of the messaging, Miller also sent encouragements to those in Afghanistan and Iraq to carry the torch of leadership throughout their regions and retake control of the efforts to rebuild and govern.
The price of perpetual war is a heavy one to pay – one that is far too often paid by children at home. Miller believes we can best honor the sacrifices made in service to peace in this region by concluding these “endless” wars and celebrating those who helped to secure the victory of freedom over oppression. He concludes the announcement with a simple statement, “God bless our women and men in uniform.” Miller then thanked those who attended and exited the stage with reporters calling questions behind him as he went.
This announcement marks an important moment for the Trump presidency — even as it appears to be nearing its end. Putting an end to pointless and ceaseless foreign conflicts was a cornerstone of President Donald Trump’s 2016 platform, and it is heartening to see him following through even as the powers that be nudge Democrat Joe Biden into power.