U.S. to reduce number of troops in Iraq to 3,000

US army soldiers, part of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group, walk around at the K1 Air Base northwe
(Image credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States is set to reduce its number of troops in Iraq by more than 2,000.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, on Wednesday announced that the U.S. will cut its presence in Iraq from 5,200 troops to 3,000 troops by the end of September, Politico reports. This "reduced footprint allows us to continue advising and assisting our Iraqi partners in rooting out the final remnants of ISIS in Iraq and ensuring its enduring defeat," McKenzie said.

The move, Politico notes, comes ahead of the 2020 presidential election as President Trump looks to take steps toward fulfilling his promise to end "endless wars" and withdraw U.S. troops, as well as after he came under fire for a report in The Atlantic that he described American troops who died in battle as "losers" and "suckers."

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Previously, Trump reduced the U.S.' troop presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, Axios notes. The new Iraq cuts, The New York Times writes, "pale in comparison to the much larger reductions from when U.S. force levels in the country peaked at more than 150,000 service members at the height of the Iraq war," and ultimately, they'll bring the level of troops in Iraq "roughly back to where they were in 2015."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.