Middle East

American agencies: Trump accelerates US withdrawal from Middle East

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (North Press) – American news networks published on Wednesday that Trump intends to accelerate the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East before the end of his presidency in January.

This came after Trump fired Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and replaced other officials with new ones who supported his decision of withdrawal from the Middle East.

Ret. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor will serve as the Senior Advisor to the new Acting Defense Minister that would achieve Trump’s priorities regarding American national security, a Pentagon spokesman stressed Wednesday.

The hiring of Macgregor and the wave of firings at the Pentagon by Trump was a part of settling of Trump’s personal aim to get out of the Middle East by the end of the year, something that was opposed by former Defense Department officials, including Mark Esper, according to the AXIOS network.

Esper disagreed with Trump on the acceleration of the withdrawal of all US service members from Afghanistan, as Esper did not believe that conditions are appropriate for that before Afghanistan implemented all the conditions, a senior administration official told CNN and AXIOS.

Washington started the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan according to the agreement with Taliban, which stipulates that no American troops will remain by next May.

In turn, the Taliban pledged to adhere to security guarantees and negotiations with the authorities in Kabul to achieve national reconciliation and end the conflict with them since the US intervention in the country.

President Trump’s newly installed acting Pentagon chief is bringing on a senior adviser, a sign the administration wants to accelerate the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East before the end of his presidency in January, three people familiar with the move told AXIOS.

In a 2019 interview with Fox’s Tucker Carlson, Macgregor said he would advise the president to get out of Afghanistan “as soon as possible,” that he would advise Trump to remove the US embassy from Kabul, and that talking to the Taliban was unnecessary, according to Fox News.

Macgregor also said the US needs to pull its troops out of Syria immediately, as the US has no national interests there.

He said, “We need to listen very carefully to the Iranians…find out what their interests are and look for areas where we can cooperate.”

The US must also “turn the operational control of the [Korean] Peninsula militarily over to President Moon and the Koreans,” Macgregor advised President Trump.

Reporting by Hadeel Oueis

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