Senator Graham: Setting a date for withdrawl from Afghanistan is 'monumental mistake'
Thu, 29 May 2014 09:28:40 GMT —
President Barack Obama announced this week that he is bringing U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan home in 2016, but South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham calls the move a "monumental mistake."
The Republican said it's not a good idea that we are telling the enemy our plans to leave in 2016.
Senator Graham thinks it will be a replay of what happened in Iraq and Syria.
"What you are going to see now is money is going to flow out of Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda is going to flow in. I've never seen a military engagement where you tell the enemy the day you are going to leave, this is a disaster," said Graham.
On Tuesday, President Obama announced that at the end of 2016, the only U.S. presence in Afghanistan will be at an embassy and a security assistance office.
An official statement released by Graham, Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) and John McCain (R-Arizona) on President Obama's announcement is below.
"The President's decision to set an arbitrary date for the full withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is a monumental mistake and a triumph of politics over strategy. This is a short-sighted decision that will make it harder to end the war in Afghanistan responsibly.
The President came into office wanting to end the wars he inherited. But wars do not end just because politicians say so. The President appears to have learned nothing from the damage done by his previous withdrawal announcements in Afghanistan and his disastrous decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq. The announcement will embolden our enemies and discourage our partners in Afghanistan and the region. And regardless of anything the President says tomorrow at West Point, his decision on Afghanistan will fuel the growing perception worldwide that America is unreliable, distracted, and unwilling to lead."
The alternative was not war without end. It was a limited assistance mission to help the Afghan Security Forces preserve momentum on the battlefield and create conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict. The achievement of this goal, and the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, should be determined by conditions on the ground, not by the President's concern for his legacy.
All wars end. The question is how they end. The war in Iraq has ended in tragedy. And it is difficult to see how we can succeed in Afghanistan when the President tells our enemies that our troops will leave by a date certain whether they have achieved our goals or not."