Acting defense secretary expresses support for troop withdrawal in visit to Fort Bragg

Cumberland County News

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller visited Fort Bragg Wednesday morning to reiterate support for withdrawing troops from the Middle East, and to meet the Special Operations Command leaders.

Miller signed paperwork that clears the way for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operational and Low Intensity Conflict to now report directly to the Secretary of Defense.

“I’m here today to announce that I’ve directed the Special Operations civilian leadership to report directly to me, instead of through the current bureaucratic channels,” Miller said. “This historic step finalized what Congress has authorized and directed, and will put Special Operations Command on par with the military services for the first time.”

The visit comes one day after Miller announced the U.S. will bring home thousands of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by January 15.

“In light of the sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of American service members, and our enormous progress over nearly two decades, we are now bringing these conflicts to their successful and responsible conclusion under the bold leadership of President Trump,” Miller said.

Miller said about 2,500 troops will be left in both Iraq and Afghanistan after January 15.

“I was sorry votes in Washington prevented me from being there today to welcome Secretary Miller back to Fort Bragg, said Congressman Richard Hudson (R-8th). “I applaud this action to streamline command structures and elevate the civilian Special Operations leadership to a direct report to the Secretary of Defense. This is a welcome move that Congress outlined in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. As Fort Bragg’s Congressman, I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Miller and our Special Forces community.”

Wednesday’s trip to Fort Bragg was Miller’s first since starting his new role last week after the previous secretary was fired by President Trump.

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