House Republicans want troops to stay in Afghanistan, according to a letter sent to President Barack Obama from two dozen GOP representatives on the House Armed Services Committee. The letter urges the President to maintain 9,800 US troops in the country throughout 2016 for the purpose of assuring stability in the region.
Republicans argue that “progress” has been achieved in the Middle Eastern country, but if the US decides to withdraw troops at the beginning of next year, it might once again become susceptible to insurgency from terrorist groups and Taliban control.
GOP Representatives claim that al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, a well as the so-called Islamic State are all competing for dominance of the country, which marks 14 years of war, devastating internal conflicts and turmoil.
The letter was drawn up by Republican Representative from Ohio Brad Wenstrup at a time when the White House is planning to negotiate the possible complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan. A committee hearing on the matter is already planned for Thursday with the top US commander in the Middle Eastern nation, General John Campbell.
For the past year, the US has drastically reduced its military aid to the Afghan Army, which Republicans argue has resulted in a destabilization of the region, leaving it susceptible to terrorist attacks and a possible takeover from extremist groups.
Wenstrup cites Iraq as a precedent, claiming that US military presence in Afghanistan is essential from preventing the rise of ISIS and its affiliates in the nation. According to Wenstrup, the situation in Iraq has been increasingly deteriorating and spiraling out of control since 2011, when all US troops were ordered to pull out of the country.
The Afghan army and officials have also urged for more assistance in combating the threat posed by terror networks and insurgent groups. Furthermore, it is reported that the civilian population feels safer with US military presence in the country. Security officials have also stated that without US support, many terror attacks in recent years could not have been prevented.
House Republicans want troops to stay in Afghanistan for more than maintaining stability in the country, however. At a time when Russia is boosting military presence in the Middle East and engaging in aerial strikes against ISIS extremists in occupied Syria, US officials have urged for building more influence in the region, in order to be fully prepared for any possible threat.
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