Mar 16 2015

Statement By Graham and McCain on Reports Administration May Slow Down Afghanistan Withdrawal

Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Lorcan Connick (202) 224-5972

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John McCain (R-Arizona) today released the following statement on media reports that the Obama Administration may slow down its withdrawal from Afghanistan:

“We are encouraged by media reports that the Obama Administration may slow its withdrawal from Afghanistan, potentially allowing a greater U.S. force to continue critical counterterrorism and training missions together with our Afghan partners. If these reports are true, this would be a welcome step in the right direction, one supported by our nation’s top military commanders given the conditions on the ground.

“However, we remain concerned that the Administration appears intent on maintaining President Obama’s calendar-driven deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year. Such a course would invite the same disaster we have seen in Iraq: a vacuum filled by instability and terror that would ultimately threaten the United States.

“History will judge President Obama’s legacy not by the day we leave Afghanistan, but by what we leave behind. Continuing to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces and to meet our mutual counterterrorism objectives is critical to sustaining Afghanistan’s security and protecting the United States.”