Graham Warns Afghanistan Withdrawal Could Lead to Another 9/11

‘Our Afghan partners are incapable of subduing the threat posed by ISIS…’

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(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., continued to criticize President Trump’s foreign policy on Thursday and said that withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan would be a “high risk strategy” that could pave “the way toward a second 9/11.”

Shortly after the president announced U.S. troops would be leaving Syria, his administration hinted that Trump could soon announce the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as well.

Graham criticized Trump’s Syria announcement, calling it “chaos” and comparing it to President Obama’s controversial withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.

Graham similarly blasted the potential Afghanistan retreat.

“I have just returned from Afghanistan and can say – without hesitation – ISIS-K remains a direct threat to our homeland and they would dramatically benefit from a reduced American troop presence. Our Afghan partners are incapable of subduing the threat posed by ISIS-K alone. In addition, our intelligence capability and military might cannot be replaced by any other regional ally when it comes to subduing ISIS-K in Afghanistan or Pakistan,” Graham said in a statement.

Reports about a drawdown in Afghanistan and Syria prompted Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s resignation on Thursday and have drawn criticism from Trump’s Republican allies in Congress.

“I hope these reports are simply not true. Our ongoing efforts in Afghanistan are necessary to ensure another 9/11 does not occur. With threats rising from ISIS-K and other terrorist groups, America’s presence in Afghanistan today is as important as it has ever been to protect the homeland and our allies,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who served in Afghanistan and sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

“Withdrawing half our troops at this critical time is a major risk that would lead to greater instability and jeopardize America’s national security,” Banks said. “We cannot allow terrorists to regain control of Afghanistan.”