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. Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 7, secures concertina wire and barbed wire to barriers at the San Luis I Port of Entry in Arizona, Nov. 19, 2018. U.S. Northern Command is providing military support to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to secure the Southern border of the United States. On Thursday, Nov. 22, President Trump approved the use of lethal force by US Marines and other troops currently deployed at the border. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cutler Brice)