Lawmakers responded to President Obama’s announcement on Tuesday that 10,000 American troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2016 with calls to provide adequate support for military action there.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, called the president’s announcement an act of “political convenience” that would undermine the mission in Afghanistan.
“We cannot dedicate troops to an operation while giving our enemies a timeline for withdrawal in the very next breath,” Kinzinger, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said. “It is these sorts of decisions that continue to undermine America’s standing in the world, and President Obama shows no signs of changing course any time soon.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) questioned whether leaving 10,000 troops in Afghanistan would be enough to support the mission amid an ever-changing situation there.
“If we are going to leave forces in Afghanistan, we should leave enough people to do the job,” Blunt said. “The president can’t know what the situation will look like in Afghanistan two years from now. By announcing the next cuts this far in advance, the president’s plan won’t provide the stability that America’s service members and their families, who sacrifice and endure loss of life and health, deserve.”
Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said the president should bring the proposal to Congress.
“I believe he has the responsibility to make the case to the American people for this continued involvement in Afghanistan and have his plan authorized through a vote of the people’s representatives in Congress,” Miller, the vice chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said. “If such a vote were to be brought before Congress today, I would vote against it, because I believe the brave men and women of our armed forces have completed their mission, and it is now time for them to come home