Durbin Statement on President Trump's Decision to Draw Down Troop Levels in Afghanistan and Iraq

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s decision to draw down troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 in each country, roughly half of the current levels of troops in each country: 

“When Congress voted on the authorization of the use of military force after 9/11, nobody could have predicted that it was the start of a nearly two decade conflict.  Our nation needs to end that war, but the Administration’s announcement today is another example of the impulsive conduct of the outgoing President.  It recklessly undermines American leverage amid ongoing peace talks and attempts to release American captives, including Illinoisan Mark Frerichs.

“We can—and should—have productive talks between Congress and the White House on responsibly bringing our troops home and ending the 2001 authorization for the use of force and the 2002 authorization for war in Iraq.  But today’s decision by the President does not tackle those important issues, and instead is further evidence of a broken transition process by a President whose only interest is his own.”