GOP senator on Syria pullout: 'Bad people' will fill the void

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsLobbying world Pat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Kan.) is concerned about the direction of the nation’s foreign policy during a week that saw Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisRejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction MORE's resignation and President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.


“I think when you leave an area where it's very troublesome in terms of our national security overall you leave a void and bad people fill it and then you have a much bigger problem,” Roberts told reporters Monday.

Roberts indicated he's worried by the abruptness of Trump’s recent decisions and disregard of Defense recommendations. 

“I'm just worried about the overall policy, if all of a sudden on a Thursday morning we find out that we are taking half of our troops out of Afghanistan. What signal does that send? And it's not a good signal,” Roberts continued. Trump is also reportedly considering removing some troops from Afghanistan.

Roberts, who previously chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee and served on the Armed Services Committee, said while he once held a position similar to Trump's on foreign policy after Vietnam, he has changed his tune over time.

“It's just a different time, so I think you have to be fully engaged in areas where our national security team says that this is a real problem. … I'm always worried about national security because that danger will never go away,” he said.