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Acting Pentagon chief says wars should finish in first tackle

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Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testifies throughout a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee listening to on “Threats to the Homeland” on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 24, 2020.

Tom Williams by way of Reuters

WASHINGTON — In his first message to U.S. army forces, appearing Pentagon chief Chris Miller mentioned he was “weary of war” and that it was time to finish America’s conflicts within the Middle East.

On Monday, Miller ascended to the Pentagon’s appearing Secretary of Defense function after President Donald Trump’s sudden termination of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

“Indeed, this fight has been long, our sacrifices have been enormous, and many are weary of war — I’m one of them — but this is the critical phase in which we transition our efforts from a leadership to supporting role,” Miller wrote in an early Saturday morning message to Department of Defense staff.

“We are not a people of perpetual war — it is the antithesis of everything for which we stand for which our ancestors fought. All wars must end,” he added, writing that the U.S. was “on the verge of defeating Al Qaida and its associates.”

“We met the challenge; we gave it our all. Now, it’s time to come home,” Miller wrote.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James Bates pulls safety at a touchdown zone as his crew hundreds a tactical car into the cargo bay of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Farah province, Afghanistan on Sept. 26.

Staff Sgt Jonathan Lovelady | US. Air Force

The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have price U.S. taxpayers greater than $1.57 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001, in accordance with a Defense Department report. The warfare in Afghanistan, which has dragged on to grow to be America’s longest battle, started 19 years in the past and has price U.S. taxpayers $193 billion, in accordance with the Pentagon.

Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on stopping “ridiculous endless wars” within the Middle East, took to Twitter final month to announce that American forces at the moment serving in Afghanistan shall be house by Christmas.

At the time, it was unclear if Trump was giving an order by way of tweet or reiterating a long-held marketing campaign promise with a view to attraction to voters forward of the U.S. presidential election.

Earlier this yr, the United States brokered a peace cope with the Taliban that may usher in a everlasting cease-fire and scale back the U.S. army’s footprint from roughly 13,000 to eight,600 by mid-July. And by May 2021, all overseas forces would depart the war-torn nation.

Trump has beforehand directed the Pentagon to scale back the U.S. combating power in battle zones. 

In 2018, Trump tweeted that the United States could be withdrawing troops out of Syria, a transfer that despatched a shockwave by the Pentagon and contributed partly to the resignation of then-Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump later reversed his choice to withdraw from Syria.

In May, Trump complained on Twitter that America’s function in Afghanistan has been lowered to a “police force” and never a “fighting force.”

When requested in regards to the tweet by reporters throughout a White House occasion, Trump mentioned that the U.S. might return to Afghanistan if wanted.

“We can always go back if we have to. If we have to go back, we’ll go back, and we’ll go back raging,” Trump mentioned in May.

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