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Graham, Ayotte, McCain: Don't Repeat 'Fatal Mistakes' in Afghanistan

5:50 PM, Apr 22, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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In response to a report that the Obama administration may cut U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to below 10,000, senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain have released a statement. Read it below:

We hope a recent press report that the White House is considering a post-2014 force in Afghanistan well below the recommendations of our military commanders is incorrect.

After 13 years of sacrifice and investment, success in Afghanistan is now within our grasp. The last thing we should do in the coming years is increase the risks to our mission unnecessarily. We believe the recommendations of our military leaders represent sound military advice and would allow for continued U.S. support in the areas still needed by Afghan security forces. Maintaining several thousand additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan could mean the difference between success and failure.

This is the lesson of Iraq. The administration ignored sound military advice and adopted a high risk strategy of withdrawing all U.S. troops. The result, tragically, is a resurgent Al-Qaeda, rising violence, and growing risk of renewed sectarian conflict. That fatal mistake in Iraq must not be repeated in Afghanistan.

We stand ready to support a follow-on force that is consistent with the recommendations of our military commanders and that will end the war in Afghanistan with success.

Meanwhile, Fred Kagan warns that in cutting troops to that level, the U.S. would be snatching failure from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan.

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