GOP rep: Obama's Afghanistan reversal predictable

GOP rep: Obama's Afghanistan reversal predictable
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A Republican House member who served in Iraq and Afghanistan said Sunday that President Obama's decision to keep troops in Afghanistan beyond the end of his presidency could have been predicted by military observers.

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"I give the president credit for reversing strategy here and saying we're going to maintain this presence," Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerTrump again tweets about Scarborough conspiracy, despite heavy criticism Trump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams GOP lawmaker calls on Trump to stop promoting Scarborough conspiracy theory: 'It will destroy us' MORE (R-Ill.) said during an interview on ABC News's "This Week" show.

"But two years ago, we could have all predicted this when he said we're going to go down to 5,500 and then just an embassy presence," he continued.

Obama announced last week that he is planning to keep nearly troops in Afghanistan through 2017, reversing course on a earlier pledge to end the war before he leaves office.

Kinzinger said U.S. troops will probably be in Afghanistan "for a while.”

"I mean, look, we're still in South Korea," he said. "We still have a presence in Kosovo. We have a presence in a lot of places.

"So to say we're going to leave 9,800 troops to help the Afghan government be stable, this isn't a 100,000-person combat mission," Kinzinger continued. "But this is a very important mission and a very important part of the world. And it's one, frankly, I wish the president would have maintained after 2011."

Democratic Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic Biden wins all-mail Kansas primary MORE (D-Hawaii), who also served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said she agreed with Obama's decision to keep troops in Afghanistan to help secure the war-torn country.

"Looking at the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, we have a continuing increased presence of both ISIS and al Qaeda," Gabbard said. "So I agree with the president's decision to keep some of our troops there, primarily to assist the Afghan security forces, both with intelligence as well as with training as they work to take our common enemy, the Islamic extremists, ISIS and al Qaeda.

"I think it's important, though, as we see some U.S. troops remaining there, that we know exactly what their mission is, that their mission is not to nation-build and to create a mini-America in Afghanistan," she continued. "It is to work with the Afghan security forces, again, to take out and defeat our common enemy in ISIS, al Qaeda and others."