WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement after President Obama announced his decision to maintain 8,400 U.S. forces in Afghanistan through the end of the year.
“Announcing this decision prior to the NATO Summit helps set expectations about our commitment to a stable and democratic Afghanistan and continued support of our allies in this effort,” said Corker. “While I think the number of U.S. forces should not change, I am glad the president decided to maintain a larger U.S. force presence than originally intended to defend our national security interests in the region. We are reminded almost daily of the dangers terrorist safe havens create and how they can be used as bases from which to export attacks, and now more than ever, U.S. policy must be focused on confronting that threat.”
In a June letter to the president, Corker urged the president to make a decision about U.S. forces in Afghanistan well ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw that begins tomorrow. According to recent U.N. estimates, the Taliban now controls more territory in Afghanistan than at any other time since the U.S.-led invasion following the September 11, 2001, attacks.