Via Task & Purpose:
President Donald Trump has reduced the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan to its lowest level since 2001, but as he prepares to leave the White House, it is clear the latest Forever War is raging here at home.
Acing Defense Secretary Chris Miller announced on Friday that the U.S. military now has 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and another 2,500 troops in Iraq, completing the drawdowns that he announced on Nov. 17.
Miller did not mention Syria, where about 900 U.S. troops are operating as part of a shadowy proxy conflict with Russia.
The nearly 6,000 U.S. troops downrange pales in comparison to the roughly 21,000 National Guardsmen that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized to be called up to protect President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
This surge comes amid questions about why the roughly 340 D.C. National Guardsmen who had been mobilized for a Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that turned into a violent insurrection were not quickly dispatched to the Capitol building, where police had been overwhelmed by a mob of Trump’s supporters.
The Defense Department Inspector General’s Office announced on Friday that it is looking into exactly what help the U.S. military was requested to provide before and during the Jan. 6 riots and how the Pentagon responded.