Congressman Steve Chabot told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this morning that he is “very concerned with the president’s recent announcement of a complete withdrawal by the end of the year.”

Chabot accused President Obama of putting politics about the national security interests of the United States of America: “Fulfilling a campaign promise at the expense of American national security interests is at best strategic neglect and at worst downright irresponsible.”

“Indeed, I fear that our objective is no longer to ensure Iraq is stable, but merely to withdraw our forces by the end of this year in order to meet a political timeline,” Chabot later added. “Saying that Iraq is ‘secure, stable, and self reliant,’ as Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough recently did, does not make it so. And to borrow a quote from you, Madam Secretary, when you were serving in the other body, it requires ‘the willing suspension of disbelief’ to accept that withdrawing our forces from Iraq at a time when Iranian agents seek to harm at every turn our country and its allies advances our strategic interests.”

Chabot also wondered what the Iraq decision might mean about the president’s Afghanistan policy: This decision also offers a disturbing insight into the Administration’s definition of ‘conditions-based withdrawal,’ which is, of course, its policy in Afghanistan. When asked recently whether not leaving a residual force in Iraq endangers hard-fought gains, you responded: ‘I think that they should have raised those issues when President Bush agreed to the agreement to withdraw troops by the end of this year.’ Is this what we should expect of an Obama Administration in 2014 if conditions in Afghanistan do not justify withdrawal?”

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