Nov. 17 (UPI) — Performing Secretary of Protection Christopher Miller introduced Tuesday that america plans to withdraw 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by Jan. 15.

“I’m formally asserting that we are going to implement President [Donald] Trump’s orders to proceed our repositioning of forces from these two international locations,” he mentioned.

Miller mentioned he has spoken with and alerted congressional leaders in addition to allies overseas.

“This determination by the president is predicated on steady engagement along with his nationwide safety Cupboard over the previous a number of months, together with ongoing discussions with me and my colleagues throughout america authorities,” Miller added.

The drawdown will come lower than one week earlier than President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated into workplace. And the announcement comes every week after Trump fired former Protection Secretary Mark Esper after months of stress between the 2.

Earlier than Esper’s departure, he despatched a categorized memo to the White Home recommending that troops not be decreased in Afghanistan till sure circumstances had been met, officers with information of the memo advised CNN. The advice was backed by U.S. Central Command head Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie and Gen. Austin Miller, NATO’s head of command in Afghanistan.

Miller didn’t elaborate on whether or not these circumstances for a drawdown in Afghanistan had been met.

There are at the moment 4,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and three,000 in Iraq.