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Kinzinger: Trump's decision to remove troops from Afghanistan is a mistake

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, said it's a "mistake" for President Donald Trump to remove troops from Afghanistan.
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, said it's a "mistake" for President Donald Trump to remove troops from Afghanistan.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger criticized President Donald Trump's decision to remove troops from Afghanistan by mid-January.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Tuesday the Department of Defense would implement Trump's order to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by Jan. 15, according to a statement.

"For President Trump to announce his plan to remove troops from Afghanistan goes against the recommendations of Pentagon officials, and contradicts what he said in 2016 about fighting terrorism," Kinzinger said in a statement. "This is what then-President Obama did in Iraq and it was also a grave mistake."

Kinzinger added that announcing the withdrawal "tells our enemies that we have an end date and it leaves the troops we have in place even more vulnerable" and that it would only "embolden our enemies to plot attacks."

"Our presence in Afghanistan is part of a continued effort to prevent this place from becoming a haven for terrorism again," Kinzinger said in his statement. "To falter here is to empower the extremists and put our safety at risk. I urge President Trump to reconsider and change course on this decision."

More than 6,900 American troops have died and more than 52,000 have been injured during the conflict in Afghanistan, according to Miller's statement.

Miller argued that the drawdown is "consistent with our established plans and strategic objectives, supported by the American people, and does not equate to a change in U.S. policy or objectives."

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