Some Republicans in Congress are criticizing President Trump’s order to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 and reduce the number of troops in Iraq from 3,000 to 2,500.
Here’s Texas congressman Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who lost an eye to an IED blast in Afghanistan:
Withdrawing troops rapidly might make some people feel better, but it won’t be good for American security. We will be right back in the same place as pre-9/11. No deterrence, no situational awareness, vulnerable to emboldened terrorists.https://t.co/yWAmzaN3rr
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) November 17, 2020
Nebraska GOP senator Ben Sasse said in a statement:
Headlines about ‘bringing the boys home’ sound good, but that’s not what’s happening. After this retreat, there will still be American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most important question is whether those remaining troops will be able to prevent al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Iranian proxies, and others from plotting attacks that can spill American blood, or if they will be exposed as jihadis gain ground. Terrorists will exploit vacuums – President Obama’s 2011 withdrawal from Iraq opened the door for ISIS. I fear this weak retreat is not grounded in reality and will make the world a more dangerous place.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Monday, the day before the Pentagon announced Trump’s decision, that “it’s extremely important here in the next couple of months not to have any earthshaking changes with regard to defense and foreign policy. I think a precipitous drawdown in either Afghanistan or Iraq would be a mistake.”
In a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, McConnell said: “The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq back in 2011. … It would be reminiscent of the humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975. We’d be abandoning our partners in Afghanistan.”