President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the United States would keep nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through 2016.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “We have held Senate Armed Services Committee hearings and meetings on Afghanistan with our military leaders and it has been determined that we need 13,000 troops on the ground to best accomplish the mission with Afghans security forces. Anything less, and we are putting more lives at risk. I’m not confident in the President’s ability to maintain coalition support in Afghanistan, and it is important that the United States provide the full support and training Afghan forces need to continue making progress.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, whose district includes Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill, said, “I am pleased that the President has chosen not to repeat the mistake he made in Iraq. There he chose to withdraw American forces too precipitously. As a result, we lost the gains our troops had made in places like Ramadi and Fallujah. That is a mistake we cannot afford to make in Afghanistan, the place from which Al Qaeda struck America in 2001. Maintaining our presence there is important not only for adequately equipping and empowering the Afghani force but ultimately for protecting against future acts of terror.”