McConnell: 'Precipitous drawdown' in Afghanistan, Iraq 'a mistake'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Senators clash on the floor over wearing masks: ‘I don’t need y...


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators clash on the floor over wearing masks: ‘I don’t need your instruction’ On The Money: Biden urges Congress to pass Democrats’ COVID-19 relief package | Fears of double-dip recession rise | SEC’s Clayton to resign at end of 2020 Overnight Defense: Pentagon prepping for Trump order to draw down in Afghanistan, Iraq | Questions swirl after DOD purge | 10th service member killed by COVID-19 MORE (R-Ky.) warned Tuesday that it would be a “mistake” to precipitously yank troops from Afghanistan or Iraq and urged the administration to make no major defense or foreign policy changes for the rest of the year. 

“I think 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,” McConnell told reporters. 

McConnell’s comments came as acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTucker Carlson assures viewers his show ‘not going anywhere’ following presidential election Trump senior advisers dissuaded president from military strike on Iran: report Senators clash on the floor over wearing masks: ‘I don’t need your instruction’ MORE had ordered the Pentagon to pull 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January.

The Defense Department will cut the number of troops in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 and the number of forces in Iraq from 3,000 to 2,500 by Jan. 15, days before Trump is set to leave office.

McConnell’s comments also come amid a shakeup at the top of the Pentagon, starting with the ousting of Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump senior advisers dissuaded president from military strike on Iran: report Overnight Defense: Pentagon prepping for Trump order to draw down in Afghanistan, Iraq | Questions swirl after DOD purge | 10th service member killed by COVID-19 McConnell warns Trump against troop drawdown in Afghanistan MORE. Trump is reportedly mulling firing CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelHeads roll as Trump launches post-election purge Haspel not in attendance at latest Trump intelligence briefing: reports Director of DHS cyber agency expecting ouster MORE, who top Republicans, including McConnell, offered shows of support for last week. 

The decision to draw down troops is likely to spark fierce backlash on Capitol Hill. 

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor on Monday, warned against pulling troops from Afghanistan.

“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,” McConnell said.



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Newsrust: McConnell: 'Precipitous drawdown' in Afghanistan, Iraq 'a mistake'
McConnell: 'Precipitous drawdown' in Afghanistan, Iraq 'a mistake'
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