New Pentagon chief hires adviser who wants quick withdrawal of troops

The US Defense Department has confirmed new acting defense secretary Christopher Miller has hired a senior adviser who has frequently pressed for the quick removal of US troops in Afghanistan.

According to The Hill, retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor “will be serving as a Senior Advisor to the Acting Secretary of Defense. Mr MacGregor’s decades of military experience will be used to assist in the continued implementation of the President’s national security priorities,” a Pentagon spokesperson said.

Macgregor has on numerous occasions in the past year advocated for the United States to pull its forces from conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

In an interview in January this year, MacGregor said only Trump could end the war in Afghanistan.

“He’s promised to do that a long time ago and he’s disappointed a lot of us because he hasn’t. He can stand up tomorrow and pull us out. But he needs to send everyone out of the Oval Office who keeps telling him ‘if you do that and something bad happens, it’s going to be blamed on you, Mr. President.’ He needs to say, ‘I don’t give a damn,” MacGregor said at the time.

He has also said the United States should remove the US Embassy from Kabul, The Hill stated.

Meanwhile, three people familiar with the move told Axios overnight this latest move was meant to help quickly withdraw US troops before the end of the Trump administration in January.

The Hill stated however that Macgregor, a Trump loyalist, will likely aid in an accelerated drawdown plan before the president leaves the White House in about 70 days.

His appointment has also raised concerns as his controversial rhetoric about Muslims and undocumented immigrants caused then-defense secretary Mark Esper to pass him over earlier this year for the Pentagon’s policy chief spot.

Macgregor has said the European Union and Germany are too welcoming to “unwanted Muslim invaders,” and that Muslim immigrants enter “with the goal of eventually turning Europe into an Islamic state,” rhetoric that stalled his chances as US ambassador to Germany.