Trump Says US Will Cut Iraq Troop Level to 2,000

Cuts are bigger than those previously announced

Just one day after CENTCOM offered the first specifics on the planned troop cuts in Iraq, President Trump announced even bigger cuts in the months to come. Troop levels are at 5,200, and CENTCOM said it would be 3,000 by the end of the month.

Trump now says that the intention is to get down to 2,000 soldiers “in a very short period of time.” Though that hasn’t been specifically confirmed, the suggestion is a 2-3 month time-frame, getting troops down to 2,000 by the election.

That’s the lowest level for US troops in Iraq in years, and comes just a month after President Trump confirmed plans for troop reductions during the visit of the Iraqi premier. It’s not clear if the US is going to withdraw outright, but they are cutting substantially.

President Trump seems eager to make this cut part of his reelection campaign. During Thursday’s campaign rally in Freeland, MI, Trump emphasized that former Vice President Joe Biden had supported the Iraq War, and that he is bringing the troops home.

The drawdown is likely a very good thing for the Iraqi government, as since parliament demanded a full US withdrawal, officials seemed to dismiss the idea of a pullout, and suggested it would come with cuts to US-Iraq ties. Now, Pentagon officials say that even as the troop levels go down, the US will continue to keep working with Iraq.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.