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Rubio Comments On Afghanistan

Oct 15, 2015 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement on President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. would be maintaining the current troop level in Afghanistan through the end of 2016:
“I welcome President Obama’s decision to maintain the current level of U.S. forces in Afghanistan through the end of 2016. I do not agree, however, with his decision to prematurely announce a further drawdown before he leaves office. Our presence in Afghanistan should be dictated by battlefield conditions, which are impossible to predict more than a year in advance. Just in recent weeks, the Taliban captured a major city for the first time since 2001, and ISIL has continued to make inroads in certain Afghan districts.
“As with President Obama’s premature withdrawal of the forces he announced as part of the surge in 2009, making decisions regarding our military commitment in this way only signals weakness to our enemies and encourages them to wait us out. Given the continued threats to the Afghan government, President Obama should maintain at least the current level of forces through the end of his presidency. This would allow the next president to reassess the situation as it exists at the end of 2016 and make decisions about our commitment to Afghanistan going forward based on the best military advice at that time.
“America’s history in Afghanistan, as well as recent events in Iraq and Syria, show that when the U.S. fails to lead and allows states to collapse, we ultimately undermine our own security. Our men and women in uniform who have served in Afghanistan have fought valiantly to eliminate those who attacked us on September 11, 2001, prevent terrorists from training and plotting attacks with impunity, and give the Afghan people the opportunity for a better future. Even though the Afghan government now bears primary responsibility for their country’s security, we cannot turn our backs on our Afghan partners at this critical moment.”