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Murkowski Responds to Pentagon Announcement of Troop Withdrawals in Afghanistan and Iraq

Statement

Date: Nov. 19, 2020

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller recently announced plans to reduce U.S. troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by January 15, 2021. In response, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released the following statement:

"I do not support indefinite American troop presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and generally support efforts toward their removal, but it must be done in a thoughtful and strategic manner. I find the recent announcement of an abrupt troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan troubling with the deadline for removal coming shortly before the expected transition of presidential administrations, and the recent termination of former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. A premature withdrawal of troops from these theaters could have lasting negative impacts on national and regional security and be a disservice to the thousands of Americans who have fought and died in these wars. I encourage taking a pause in major shifts in our military posture. We must ensure that any future plans do not risk American lives or unravel the progress that has been made in counterterrorism efforts. I look forward to the opportunity to be briefed further on the details of this decision."


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