Soldiers aboard M1A2 Abram Tanks from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division move out, as part of an Initial Ready Task Force (IRTF) exercise, at Johanna Range, Poland, May 20, 2019. An IRTF is a no-notice, rapid-deployment exercise designed to test a unit’s ability to alert, marshal, and deploy forces and equipment for contingency operations or an emergency disaster. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Mort)
President Trump is expected to announce a withdrawal of almost half of all US Service Members currently deployed to Afghanistan over the coming months. This decision has drawn sharp criticism from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill both.
US Military Commanders and Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree the Afghan Military needs years of additional training and support until it will be able to successfully defend its territory. Even today, the Taliban still controls parts of the country.
President Trump’s Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, resigned in protest partially over this decision, in addition to other differing viewpoints. His interim acting replacement is slated to be a former Boeing executive with no military or diplomatic experience prior to his appointment to Deputy Secretary of Defense by the President in 2017.
There are also concerns over whether allies and US troops on the ground were notified of the force reduction prior to the President’s tweet.
U.S. Army AH-64D Apache helicopter, assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, flies in formation for the 25th Infantry Division Review over Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, December 21, 2018. The Division’s activation date is October 1, 1941. Due to a robust training schedule in October, the Division is celebrating its birthday from December 17-21 with the culminating event being the Division Review at historic Weyand Field. More than 11,000 Tropic Lightning Soldiers will take part in the Division Review. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ian Morales)