A premature exit of the US military from Afghanistan could have disastrous consequences, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement on Monday.
Earlier Monday, media reported that the US Department of Defense was planning a White House order as early as this week that would halve the number of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January.
“The consequences of a premature US exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS. [Islamic State terror group, banned in Russia] and a new wave of global terrorism. It would be reminiscent of the humiliating departure of the Americans from Saigon in 1975, ”McConnell, a Kentucky senator and top GOP lawmaker, suggested Monday evening.
McConnell claimed that a US retreat would undo years of human rights achievement, embolden the Taliban and be proclaimed victory by those the United States sees as “ bad actors ” in the region, including including Iran.
According to McConnell’s statement, former US officials would see a pullout as “a symbol of US defeat and humiliation and the victory of Islamist extremism.”
Earlier this month, then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned of a rapid withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, in a confidential note to the White House.
Trump tweeted in October that all US troops would have returned home by Christmas, to have his tweet disowned by US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, who said thousands of troops were “on the right track.” route ”to remain in the country until early 2021.
Trump has sought to keep his promise to end the longest war in U.S. history. After the Trump administration struck a deal with the Taliban in February, the number of troops was reduced to 8,600 in July, and another 4,000 troops are expected to leave in the fall. Early next year, the contingent could be reduced to 2,500 troops.
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