Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement this morning that he will keep 8,400 troops in Afghanistan through the end of his administration:
“I’m pleased that the president has once again changed course and decided to not reduce our presence in Afghanistan by half as he originally planned. However, it is not clear why any drawdown is taking place when the threats to Afghanistan’s stability from the Taliban, al Qaeda and even ISIS are only increasing.
“Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, our country has invested significantly in Afghanistan’s future. Many of our men and women in uniform have served multiple tours of duty. Thousands have been wounded in action, and many paid the ultimate price and never returned home.
“Brave Americans fought and died to find and destroy those who wreaked so much havoc on America on September 11th, and they also fought to give the Afghan people the opportunity to determine their own future and to help ensure that Afghanistan never again became a staging ground for terrorists who would strike us here at home.
“Our primary goal of denying terrorists a safe haven is still at risk, in part, because of President Obama’s mismanagement of our military effort. As president, he has consistently signaled weakness and indecision to a determined enemy. Afghanistan has made much progress since 2001, but President Obama’s elevation of the politics of retreat and withdrawal over the military advice of our commanders on the ground has put hard-fought gains at risk and made us less safe.”