Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in a Friday letter to the Defense Department stated that the end America’s nearly two-decade-long war with Al Qaida is close, and that the U.S. is looking to “transition our efforts from a leadership to supporting role” in that conflict. 

“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.”

Miller, who was named to the position on Nov. 9 after President Trump fired Mark Esper from that role, said in the letter that the U.S. is “on the verge of defeating Al Qaida and its associates.” But “we must avoid our past strategic error of failing to see the fight through to the finish,” he said. 

“Ending wars requires compromise and partnership,” he said. “We met the challenge; we gave it our all. Now, it’s time to come home.”

President Trump over the course of his first term has sought to bring U.S. troops home from prolonged overseas conflicts. “I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home,” he said at one point last year.

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