In developments overnight from the US, it has been revealed that the United States military anticipates President Donald Trump could soon reduce the number of military personnel based overseas, particularly in the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres.
According to unnamed sources in the US Defense Department it is believed the president wants “all” US troops home by Christmas although the plans revealed indicate that if the order is received the numbers in Afghanistan will only be reduced by half from the current 5,000 to 2,500.
Numbers in Iraq are also projected to shrink from 3,000 down to 2,500.
The United States has had troops in Iraq for almost 20 years after a 2003 invasion to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction supposedly being developed by then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
After years of searching and excuses by the U.S. president at the time, George W. Bush, no such weapons were ever found.
The U.S. presence in Afghanistan started in 2001, shortly after the September 11th attacks in the U.S. carried out by al-Qaeda – a terrorist group at the time with its headquarters in the country and led by Osama bin Laden.
The president himself, meanwhile remains mired in legal cases at home to somehow claw back at states and electoral votes seemingly lost to Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the November 3rd U.S. Presidential Election.
And while it is believed the withdrawals should be finished by mid-January, prior to the planned inauguration of Mr. Biden, some in the military remain cautious that a quick pull out could leave a power vacuum that authorities in Afghanistan are not yet ready to fill, and that the Taliban might rapidly take advantage of.