The Pentagon has issued a notice to commanders known as a “warning order” to start planning to reduce troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops and 2,500 in Iraq by January 15, officials said. There are currently about 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq.
The Pentagon and the White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller sent a seemingly contradictory message to the forces, saying the United States must continue its fight against al Qaeda and terrorist forces after 9/1
“This war is not over,” Miller wrote in a statement. “We are on the verge of defeating al Qaeda and its collaborators, but we must avoid our past strategic mistake because we failed to see the battle to the end. In fact, this battle was long, our casualties were huge and very tired of the war – I am one of them – but this is the critical phase in which we are shifting our efforts from a leadership to a supporting role, “he wrote of the current role of the United States in support of counterterrorism campaigns such as that in Afghanistan.
“All wars must end. The end of wars requires compromise and partnership. We have tackled the challenge; we have done our best. Now is the time to go home,” Miller added.
This story is breaking and will be updated.