WASHINGTON- The president’s new appointee at the Pentagon announced plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January.
But the move is being met with backlash, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it will all but assure a more dangerous Middle East.
“I really am scared for our troops,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, (D) Illinois.
Duckworth is a decorated military veteran.
“What the president is doing jeopardizes our national security, destabilizes the Middle East and really sets a whole series of actions…who’s effects would occur long after he’s gone,” said Duckworth.
“Completing the mission we made just two decades ago,” said newly-appointed acting Department of Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.
Miller made official what the president had tweeted that thousands of U.S. troops will be leaving the Middle East before Inauguration Day.
“By January 15, 2021, our force sizes in Afghanistan will be 2500 troops. Our force size in Iraq will also be 2,500,” said Miller.
Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned against the withdrawal of troops before the president fired him.
Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Mitch McConnell are not lining up behind the president.
“A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” said McConnell, (R) Kentucky.
“We’ve forgotten the real danger of an Afghanistan almost pre-911 which i feel we’ll face again,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R) Illinois.
Kinzinger was an Air Force pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says the president risks erasing decades of progress.
“Makes negotiations impossible and almost guarantee that the Taliban will hold out and then fight to take the Afghanistan government,” said Kinzinger.
But Kinzinger says there’s little Congress can do to stop the president.