Washington’s top Republican is warning against pulling all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky spoke at Fort Knox Tuesday.
Senator McConnell urged President Obama not to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan like he did in Iraq. After visiting the country twice last year, McConnell said it was the wrong decision for American soldiers to leave Iraq entirely. He added history shows that keeping a residual force in a country following combat leads to more stability.
"Look at Germany today. Look at Japan today. Look at Korea today," remarked McConnell. "I hope the president won't make the mistake in Afghanistan that he made in Iraq, which was leaving entirely, and we've seen the results of that."
Senator McConnell said coming home will reverse the gains made in Afghanistan over the past 14 years. He suggested that 10,000 to 15,000 American troops need to stay there to provide more training to the local military and to confront the ongoing threat of what he called “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Last fall, President Obama announced plans to keep 9,8000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through most of this year, before dropping the number to 5,500 in late 2016.