The news also comes as Trump faces backlash over allegations he has called US troops ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’, and as he drags his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the polls weeks before the November 3 presidential election. The announcement also comes two days after Trump accused Pentagon leaders of waging wars to make sure entrepreneurs “stay happy.”
McKenzie said the force reduction is due to “the great strides made by Iraqi forces and in consultation and coordination with the Iraqi government and our coalition partners.”
“This small footprint allows us to continue advising and helping our Iraqi partners to root out the last remnants of ISIS in Iraq and secure its lasting defeat. “
The move was due to the increased ability of Iraqi security forces to “operate independently,” McKenzie said, stressing that the goal is “an Iraqi security force capable of preventing a resurgence of ISIS and guarantee the sovereignty of Iraq without external aid ”.
Trump is also expected to announce a troop reduction in Afghanistan in the coming days. The United States has around 8,600 troops in the country, and the president said in an interview last month that he plans to reduce that number to around 4,000.