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McConnell Pushes Back on Trump Admin's Plan To Withdraw US Troops From Middle East

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not agree with the Trump administration’s plan to withdraw more U.S. troops from the Middle East.

Sharing his position on the Senate floor Monday, McConnell said, “We’re playing a limited —limited — but important role in defending American national security and American interests against terrorists who would like nothing more than for the most powerful force for good in the world to simply pick up our ball and go home. They would love that.”

He added that a “rapid withdrawal” from Afghanistan would “delight the people who wish us harm.”

“A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm. Violence affecting Afghans is still rampant. The Taliban is not abiding by the conditions of the so-called peace deal.”

The majority leader said that the consequences of a “premature American exit” would “likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism. It would be reminiscent of the humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975.”

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McConnell later added, “A disorganized retreat would jeopardize the track record of major successes this Administration has worked hard to compile.”

He reiterated in a tweet, “Premature retreat would put” the Trump administration’s record “at risk.”

US military commanders are expecting President Donald Trump to give a formal order to remove more U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, as CNN reported. The order could come as soon as this week. The withdrawal would bring the number of troops of roughly 4,500 in Afghanistan to 2,500, and the approximately 3,000 troops in Iraq to 2,500, the Pentagon has warned commanders.

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