WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Afghanistan troop levels.
“This is more a political decision by President Obama than a military one. I’ve never heard anyone suggest that our current level of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan is too high or that President Obama’s new 8,400 troop level will be just right.
“But let’s be clear -- this troop reduction, while it will seem small to many, will have a negative impact on the security situation in Afghanistan. It also pushes American service members to absorb more risk as the threats in Afghanistan from ISIL and other terrorist groups continue to grow.
“I just returned from Afghanistan and did not sense that conditions on the ground warranted a further reduction of American troops at this time. A wise course would have been for President Obama to leave our forces intact at the 9,800 level to protect our many hard fought gains.
“Unfortunately, all President Obama did today was make the job of our remaining troops serving in Afghanistan, and the next President, much harder and riskier.”