US senate expressed concern over Taliban capture of Kunduz
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Several top American lawmakers Monday expressed concern over reports of Taliban’s capture of Kunduz -- the first time the Taliban have captured a major urban area since 2001.
“Over the last fourteen years, American troops and civilians have made steady progress in supporting our Afghan partners in securing their country and defeating our common terrorist enemies,” Senator John Mccain said.
But President Obama’s calendar-based drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan despite conditions on the ground has created an opening for the Taliban and placed at risk the hard-earned gains of the past decade, he said.
“The Taliban’s capture of the key city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan is the latest manifestation of this dangerous reversal,” McCain alleged.
Yet, Obama is still on pace to withdraw all US combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, he said adding that for years, military commanders and senior diplomats have warned that such a calendar-based drawdown would all but ensure the same tragic outcome that we watched in Iraq after 2011.
“It is time that President Obama abandon this dangerous and arbitrary course and adopt a plan for US troop presence based on conditions on the ground,” McCain said.
Another Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said news reports that the Taliban has retaken Kunduz are discouraging, but not unexpected.
“Obama’s failure to fully resource his strategy for Afghanistan forces our troops and their leaders to focus on meeting next year’s withdrawal deadline, rather than America’s security needs,” he said.
“The fall of Kunduz to the Taliban is not unlike the fall of Iraqi provinces to ISIL—it is a reaffirmation that precipitous withdrawal leaves key allies and territory vulnerable to the very terrorists we’ve fought so long to defeat,” Thornberry said.
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