A major overhaul at the Pentagon that was started with the firing of former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper could be part of President Trump’s plan to carry out last-minute troop withdrawals from countries like Afghanistan, sources have told several media outlets.
A Trump administration official told The Washington Post late Tuesday night that President Trump is still determined to withdraw troops around the world before leaving office. “He sees the Pentagon as the leader of the resistance to his agenda,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another administration official told the Post that the shake-up that was ordered by the White House coincided with debates about the pace of troop withdrawals from places like Afghanistan and Somalia.
The Intercept published a story on Wednesday that cited a Trump administration official who made similar claims. The official said the overhaul was planned for months, and more firings are expected. “The president is taking back control of DoD. It’s a rebirth of foreign policy. This is Trump foreign policy,” the official said.
Lee Fang at The Intercept writes: “The personnel changes, the official claimed, would help clear the way for a more loyal Pentagon apparatus to carry out Trump’s goals, including the last-minute withdrawal of troops from foreign conflicts.”
Sources told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the firings could have happened because Esper and his team were pushing back on a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In October, President Trump said on Twitter that all US troops in Afghanistan “should” be home by Christmas. But so far, the tweet has not turned into an order. Current troop numbers in Afghanistan are around 4,000, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has said the US is on track to have 2,500 troops left in Afghanistan by early 2021.
Bloomberg reported in October that President Trump wants to bring hundreds of US troops from Somalia. According to the report, the Pentagon began drafting plans for a withdrawal, and high-level discussions over the potential move took place. But so far, like Afghanistan, no orders have been given to remove troops from Somalia.
Axios confirmed on Wednesday that Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor has been hired as a senior advisor to acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who replaced Esper. Macgregor is outspoken in his belief that the US should immediately withdraw from Afghanistan. In a 2019 interview, he said the US should “run” not walk out of Afghanistan.
11 thoughts on “Trump’s Pentagon Shake-Up Could Lead to Troop Withdrawals”
1) I’ll believe it when I see it.
2) Had he done this two years ago he might have won re-election.
or even 4 years ago…
Bring them home now!
Operation Vigilant Eagle.
This is a good sign. Of course others are saying he might be trying to consolidate the military behind him and not step down but that would ultimately result in treason charges if they aren’t successful and hard to believe they would be. They would never have the numbers and the country is largely ungovernable from DC alone. So am apt to believe this reason instead.
fake news–if the US oligarchy would permit this trump would have emptied the swamp and retreated from syria, Afghanistan, Iraq 2 years ago…after 4 years of dementia, likely tucker Carlsen will be installed in 2024
But instead he stocked the swamp with more swamp creatures and escalated everywhere. Plus a record military budget, record arms sales and sanctions from hell. But sure, lets blame the oligarchy.
Place yer bets….my money is on some arms trade trump doesn’t want DOD to be in the way of…
If this pans out, it would be good news. MacGregor is a solid realist and has been sidetracked/attked by the zionist neo cons relentlessly for advocating getting the hell out of these absolute mindless military debacles.
However, we shall see whether this has any legs as expect the zionists, with their hair on fire, running to the ramparts, i.e. the press and the MIC.
Not at all sure how this is going to play with pompass cranking up sanctions on Iran on a daily basis. Niten yaaa hooo will be sure to have apoplexy.
Two other possibilities: He will start a war or he believes that if legal route does not work for Biden, Democrats will use military to remove him. Esper was clearly disobeying president on several occasions — a troublesome precedent no matter who the president is.
Unless Trump just wants to keep his promise to troops and get them home for Christmas. It may be as simple as that.
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