Trump team looks to box in Biden on foreign policy by lighting too many fires to put out
The Trump team's refusal to work with the incoming team stands in stark contrast with the conduct of previous administrations during transitions. In late 2016 and early 2017, the Obama administration finalized plans for an offensive against the Islamic State but handed over final decisions to the incoming Trump administration because it would be executing the operation and dealing with the aftermath.
Officials in President George W. Bush's administration had done the same for Barack Obama. Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, said, "I had retained a whole stack of actions that either the Bush administration could take as we left office, or we could hold and let the Obama administration make those decisions when they came into office." [...]
Acting Defense Secretary Miller announced Tuesday that the US will withdraw 2,500 more troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq by January 15, 2021, five days before Biden takes office.
There are currently about 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq.
Miller said the withdrawal "does not equate change" to US policies or objectives.
Some observers, pointing to Trump's rush to pull troops over unanimous objections from the military's most senior leaders as well as NATO commanders, question whether the President and his officials are trying to salt the earth for Biden.
"The price for leaving too soon or in an uncoordinated way could be very high. Afghanistan risks becoming once again a platform for international terrorists to plan and organize attacks on our homelands. And ISIS could rebuild in Afghanistan the terror caliphate it lost in Syria and Iraq," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement to CNN.