The first address of the new acting Secretary of Defense to the US military indicates Trump’s intentions to withdraw the military from Afghanistan before his presidential term.
Christopher Miller, the day before appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as the new head of the Pentagon, on Saturday made it clear that he can accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East, saying in his message to the Armed Forces: “It’s time to go home.”
“All wars must end,” Miller, appointed acting Defense Secretary last Monday, said in his first message to the US Armed forces.
Miller stressed that the US remains determined to defeat al-Qaeda, the terrorist group whose members carried out the September 11 attacks 19 years ago, adding that the US military “almost defeated” the terrorists.
“Many are tired of war – I am one of them,” Miller said in a statement dated Friday but posted early Saturday on the Defense Department’s website. The Pentagon’s head announced the beginning of a “critical phase,” during which the United States is moving from a leading role in this process to performing auxiliary functions.
“Ending wars requires compromise and partnership. We accepted the challenge; we did our best. Now it’s time to go home, ” the Pentagon chief said.
Miller did not mention specific locations where troops would be withdrawn. Still, when al-Qaeda was mentioned, he singled out Afghanistan and Iraq, where American troops were stationed after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
A former US special forces officer and counterterrorism expert was appointed to head the Department of defense after trump fired former Defense Secretary Mark Esper.