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The U.S. will withdraw 2,200 troops from Iraq by the end of September, bringing troop levels in the country down to 3,000, confirmed Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command.

The big picture: The move is in line with President Trump's campaign promise to pare back America's involvement in the Middle East. The president has reduced the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

  • At the height of the Iraq War, there were over 150,000 service members stationed in Iraq, according to the Times.
  • The number of troops in Iraq after the pullback will be at about the same level as in 2015, when the U.S. was in the early stages of its campaign against the Islamic State.

Driving the news: The announcement comes days after Trump accused Pentagon leadership of waging war in order to keep defense contractors “happy,” as he was denying reports that he insulted fallen service members.

What they're saying: “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,” General McKenzie said.

  • “This decision is due to our confidence in the Iraqi security forces’ increased ability to operate independently."

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Why it matters: Last month's report in The Atlantic alleging that Trump called service members "suckers and losers" sparked massive backlash. The president has vigorously denied all aspects of the report.

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Trump admin plans to reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by 2021

An Afghan border forces soldier stands guard at a U.S. forces base, which has been handed over to Afghan border forces in Dih Bala district of Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, inj July. Photo: Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua via Getty Images

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Wednesday the U.S. would cut its number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early 2021, per Reuters.

Details: "When President Trump took office, there were over 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan," O’Brien said at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, event. "As of today there are under 5,000 and that will go to 2,500 by early next year."

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