US Acting Defence Secretary Chris Miller’s confirmation over President Donald Trump’s decision to retract American forces from Afghanistan has garnered mixed reactions from senators as some laud the decision while others call it politically motivated.
Since the announcement, Miller has refused to take any questions over the next course of action to proceed with the withdrawal. However, the announcement has become bone of contention between the US senators, who have expressed their assent as well as dissent over the decision.
Reacting to Trump’s decision, Senator Josh Hawley extended his support in a letter saying that US military’s anti-terrorism operations can be executed even without being deployed in Afghanistan.
Calling American’s military’s presence in Afghanistan “a mistake”, Hawley wrote that it was essential to destroy Al-Qaeda and punish the Taliban but such an objective has been turned into a nation-building mission in the region and that the forces were strong enough to tackle the threat without any presence in Afghanistan.
But Congressman Adam Kinsinger has a contrary take, as he calls the withdrawal decision a “nonsensical” move. Expressing concerns over drawdown consequences, he said that leaving 2,500 forces in Afghanistan and Iraq each should not be the priority of the US government and it’s the peace-keeping mission that should be prioritized.
He added that leaving a territory was like giving strength to the idea of ISIS and create space for them to resurface and grow.
But Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee David Adam has backed Trump’s decision of drawdown, despite the two parties calling it a hasty move. He said reduction of troops to 2,500 was the right policy decision and that such an action must be carefully and responsibly executed.
Millers’ announcement has divided not only Democrats and Republicans, but created factions within Republicans with a number of them opposing the move. Republican representative Dan Crenshaw criticised the announcement calling it a bad idea.
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In a tweet, Crenshaw wrote that troops’ drawdown will bring back American security in the same place as pre-9/11 days and will make it vulnerable to emboldened terrorists. Expressing on the same line, senator Mitt Romney called Trump’s decision a “politically motivated move” and urged him to reconsider it
The withdrawal of troops is expected by January 15, 2021, days before President-elect Joe Biden’s oath-taking ceremony.