Trump's Iraq Troop Draw-Down To Begin This Month, Top General Announces

Previously the Trump administration said it would aim for a major troop reduction in Iraq by the time of the November election

It appears that promise — part of the Trump campaign's longtime pledge to "bring Americans home" from unnecessary "endless" foreign wars and occupations abroad — is on track to be delivered. Head of US CENTCOM, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, said while touring a US base in Iraq that troop numbers there will be cut down to 3,000 this month.

Current American troops levels are at about 5,200 — though we should note the tens of thousands of US contractors and other privatized personnel that remain there.

File image via Middle East Online

Gen. McKenzie underscored in statements that Washington feels confident that Iraqi forces are now trained to handle any threat from a potentially resurgent ISIS, now long driven underground.

"This reduced footprint allows us to continue advising and assisting our Iraqi partners in rooting out the final remnants of ISIS in Iraq and ensuring its enduring defeat," McKenzie said.

US training of Iraqi military personnel had reportedly already been scaled back through the course of the coronavirus pandemic, given local as well as international lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

During a Labor Day news conference President Trump raised eyebrows in charging top Pentagon commanders of ultimately being beholden to defense contractors.

Speaking of what sectors of the military are supportive of the Commander-in-Chief, Trump said Monday: “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

“Some people don’t like to come home, some people like to continue to spend money,” the president added. “One cold-hearted globalist betrayal after another, that’s what it was.”

However, we should point out that Trump has allowed himself to be stymied at every turn when it comes to his stated desire to get out of Syria. It has now turned into an indefinite "oil occupation" under his watch, which he seems in repeat statements to have positively backed, given his touting "we've secured the oil".