Cornyn Statement on Pentagon’s Troop Announcement

On the Senate floor, I spoke about the ongoing U.S. mission in the Middle East and responded to the Administration’s announcement that they will withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Excerpts of my remarks are below, and video can be found here.

Over the last four years, our country has made serious progress in the decades-long fight against terrorism and laid the foundation for peace and stability in the Middle East. We have virtually wiped out the ISIS caliphate.

We brought down high-ranking terrorists like al-Baghdadi, and we have eliminated the heads of the Quds Force, the IRGC in Iran, that is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world, Mr. Soleimani.

There is no question in my mind that the world is safer today than it was four years ago because of the historic progress that we have made, not only against terrorists, but to provide the foundation of peace and stability in the Middle East by encouraging Israel and its neighbors to work together where they can. But our job is not finished.

So I was alarmed by Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller's announcement today that without any real consultation, either with our allies at NATO or elsewhere, certainly not with Congress, that the Pentagon plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq to a potentially unstable and dangerous level.

A precipitous retreat, which would reverse the progress we have made and fought so hard to make, I think, is deeply troubling.

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