McCain, Graham push for keeping Afghanistan troop levels
Stars and Stripes | .
published: July 05, 2016
KABUL, Afghanistan — A group of American senators warned Monday that Afghanistan could suffer the same fate as Iraq if U.S. troop levels in the country were cut later this year as planned.
The group, led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spoke after vising troops at NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul to mark the U.S. Independence Day.
“We believe strongly that we need 9,800 here and further reductions would then cause a replay of the Iraq nightmare that was caused when we totally withdrew from Iraq, which created al-Qaida, which then created ISIS,” McCain said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.
There are currently 9,800 American troops stationed in Afghanistan. Washington plans to reduce the number to 5,500 by the end of the year, although President Barack Obama is reportedly reviewing that decision.