“A great deal of damage comes to our national security advantage when we beat a hasty withdrawal,” Mac Thornberry said.
AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Texas Republic and Chairman of the House Armed Services, Mac Thornberry, asked the United States President Barack Obama to slow down the troops’ pullout from Afghanistan.
After returning to the US from a visit to Afghanistan, Thornberry told news reporters that he would urge the Obama administration to revise its decision on the troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan while keeping in view the recent political developments in the war-hit country.
He said the US should not be so quick “to pack up and leave” Afghanistan. He furthered that Islamic State was growing its muscles in Afghanistan while reports suggest that Iran was supporting the Taliban insurgents. According to Thornberry these are two good reasons that the Obama administration should slow the pullout.
“A great deal of damage comes to our national security advantage when we beat a hasty withdrawal,” the US media quoted him.
According to Washington Examiner, a US media outlet, for months, congressional Republicans have pressured the White House to reconsider its plan to cut the US troop presence to 5,500 by the end of the year, with the rest to be pulled out by the time Obama leaves office in January 2017.
The country has 6,827 US troops in Afghanistan as part of a 13,200-strong NATO mission to support Kabul’s fight against the Taliban and other extremist groups.
But violence has surged since the end of July, when the 2013 death of longtime Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar was revealed. The violence has soured relations between Kabul and Islamabad, which it blames for sheltering the Taliban.
In an Aug. 29-30 visit to Islamabad, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice “urged Pakistan to intensify its efforts to counter terrorist sanctuaries inside its borders in order to promote regional peace and stability,” the White House said.
Thornberry noted that while recent Pakistani efforts against militant groups had improved, those efforts had pushed more militants across the border into Afghanistan, where there are fewer coalition troops to confront them.
“This is a pivotal time for Afghans and for Americans,” Thornberry said, adding, “I am convinced that we have come too far together to withdraw from Afghanistan now. As President Obama considers what residual presence should endure after 2016, he must consider how much has been gained and what we stand to lose if we withdraw too quickly.”