Sen. Mitt Romney criticizes Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq

President Donald Trump and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Photos: Gage Skidmore

UTAH, Nov. 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is speaking out on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from overseas.

“The decision to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and potentially elsewhere should not be based on a U.S. political calendar,” Romney says in a statement on social media.

“The administration has yet to explain why reducing troops in Afghanistan — where conditions for withdrawal have not been met — is a wise decision for our national security interests in the region. Similarly, with continued security challenges in the Middle East, an arbitrary withdrawal from Iraq risks alienating our allies and emboldening our enemies. At a time when our adversaries are looking for every opportunity to exploit our weaknesses, the Administration should reconsider and reverse this politically-motivated decision and avoid worsening our national security challenges.”

Politico reported Monday that the White House has instructed the Pentagon to begin planning for a significant drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. A defense official told Politoco that under the proposal, just 2,500 American troops would remain in each country by Jan. 15, just five days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Other Republicans were quick to speak out to oppose the plan.

“A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, added: “The concern would be it would turn into a Saigon-type of situation where it would fall very quickly and then our ability to conduct operations against terrorist elements in the region could be compromised. That’s my primary concern right now.”

Last Tuesday, Romney spoke out about the election process in a conference with Utah reporters.


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