Drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan Are More Responsible Than Staying Forever

Today, the Pentagon announced a drawdown of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, reducing our presence to 2,500 in each country by January 15, 2021. Defense Priorities President Edward King issued the following statement in response:

“Reducing US troop levels to 2,500 in both Afghanistan and Iraq is responsible – it would be irresponsible to not get to zero. The ongoing military occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and the greater Middle East are costly mistakes that come at the expense of higher defense priorities.

“Talk of a ‘conditions-based’ withdrawal is a stalking horse for staying indefinitely, or forever. There is no such thing as an immaculate withdrawal from these conflicts, and there’s no reason to think the ground reality will improve after nearly 20 years of waiting.

“The February 2020 U.S.-Taliban agreement set a timeline to remove all US forces by May 2021. There is nothing that should delay or derail progress toward bringing all our troops home by that deadline.”

Defense Priorities report: Exiting Afghanistan

Defense Priorities explainer: The case for withdrawing from the Middle East

Defense Priorities Foundation is a think thank whose mission is to inform citizens, thought leaders, and policymakers of the importance of a strong, dynamic military – used more judiciously to protect America’s narrowly defined national interests – and promote a realistic grand strategy prioritizing restraint, diplomacy, and free trade to ensure U.S. security. Visit their website.