National security adviser discusses U.S. cuts in troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq

National security adviser Robert O’Brien speaks to reporters on Monday about the announcement from the Pentagon that U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq will be reduced to 2,500 in each country.

Video Transcript

ROBERT O'BRIEN: Moments ago, Acting Secretary of Defense Miller announced major troop reductions in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Effective January 15, 2021, American troops in both countries will go to 2,500 personnel. Those troops will defend our embassies and the other agencies of the US government doing important work in those countries, they'll enable our American allies [? in ?] their important missions in those countries, they'll defend our diplomats, and they'll deter our foes. By May, it is President Trump's hope that they will all come home safely and in their entirety.

I want to reiterate that this policy is not new. This has been the president's policy since he took office, and it's a policy that I talked about specifically with these numbers at the University of Las Vegas-- University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in October.