Monday, July 04, 2016

U.S. senators warn against further troop cuts in Afghanistan

The international military mission in Afghanistan will fail if troop levels are reduced further, with potentially dangerous repercussions for the rest of the world, a delegation of U.S. lawmakers warned during a visit to Kabul on Monday.

Fifteen years after an American-led operation toppled the Taliban in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Barack Obama is considering whether to maintain the current level of 9,800 U.S. troops or reduce it to 5,500 by the end of the year, as current plans call for.

"I cannot guarantee success if we keep 9,800, but I can ensure you failure if we go to 5,500," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters in Kabul.

Graham joined U.S. senators John McCain, Benjamin Sasse, and Joe Donnelly in a visit timed so the bipartisan delegation could visit with troops during the Independence Day holiday.

The Obama administration should decide on troop levels "sooner rather than later," McCain said, arguing that reducing the number of troops could lead to a repeat of the disaster in Iraq, where Islamic State militants seized major cities and wide swathes of territory. - Read More

U.S. senators warn against further troop cuts in Afghanistan


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