Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned against a withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday amidst reports that say the Pentagon is planning for a drawdown in the country.
McConnell, a staunch ally of President Trump, was careful to praise the administration’s foreign policy record before slamming the idea of an Afghanistan withdrawal. “A rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
McConnell went through the typical talking points for arguments against the US ending the 19-year-old war. He said a US withdrawal would “embolden the Taliban,” hand al-Qaeda a “propaganda victory,” and would be “welcome news” to Iran.
President Trump’s Pentagon shake-up stirred rumors of a possible full withdrawal from Afghanistan before Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th. But reports that came out Monday suggest that the administration will only complete a partial withdrawal.
According to sources speaking to CNN, the Pentagon has received an order to bring troop numbers down to 2,500 in Afghanistan and Iraq by January 15th. There are currently about 4,500 US soldiers in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq.