New U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller, in his first words in a report to U.S. Defense Department personnel on Friday, Nov. 13, urged that “all wars must end,” and that it is time to shift strategies to the next stage after making sufficient progress in achieving objectives in the war against Al-Qaeda.
Miller, who took over as Defense chief after President Trump fired Mark Esper last week, said he was “very pleased with the progress made in the war against Al-Qaeda.” In his official statement, he sent a nonconfrontational message, emphasizing that for wars to end requires a real commitment. And on the war in the Middle East, Miller said, “We met the challenge; We gave it our all. Now it’s time to come home.”
His comment did not mean that the United States would not remain committed to the cause; on the contrary, he assured that it would finish the work begun in the war that “Al-Qaeda brought to our shores in 2001,” referring to the Sept. 11 attack. Only from another perspective, taking into account all the progress made so far.
“We are on the verge of defeating Al-Qaeda and its associates, but we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish,” he continued. “Indeed, this fight has been long, our sacrifices have been enormous, and many are weary of war—I’m one of them.”
Miller was clear on the message and it goes in line with the wishes of President Trump, who on the campaign trail mentioned that he would like to bring back the soldiers who are in the Middle East to the United States for next Christmas.
“We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!” President Trump said on his Twitter account on Oct. 8.
We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
Now, Miller announced that the perpetual war is antagonistic to American interests and desires, and therefore he has decided to move to “transition our efforts from a leadership role to a support role.”
“We are not a people of perpetual war—it is the antithesis of everything for which we stand and for which our ancestors fought,” Miller wrote. “All wars must end.”
The Trump administration signed a conditional peace agreement with the Taliban earlier this year that called for a full U.S. withdrawal by May if the Taliban fulfilled commitments to deny Al-Qaeda sanctuary, but the Taliban reportedly would not have kept its promises, thus slowing the pace of withdrawal.
Although there was no official report on the subject, after these movements at the top of the Pentagon and the comments made by Miller, there is speculation of a possible return of American soldiers in the Middle East.
Regarding certain malicious rumors mentioned by like-minded journalists on the left and the Democrats, Miller announced on Friday, “I want to assure the American public and our allies and partners that the Department of Defense remains strong and continues its vital work of protecting our homeland, our people, and our interests around the world,” The Hill reported.