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WASHINGTON (CBS) – U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says he is concerned about President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
“I was with the President in West Point as part of the surge,” Kirk said. “Now, he’s overridden the decision of General Petreaus and sided with Vice President Biden on an early withdrawal program and that concerns me.”
As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Lisa Fielding reports, Kirk says Petreaus’ plan was to win the Afghan War, much as he did in Iraq by building up a local army.
“His plan was to put 400,000 Afghan troops to take the job of U.S and NATO allies. Right now he’s 100,000 troops short and he really needed another year and a half. Now the president has pulled the plug on that.”
Kirk says he understands families want their soldiers home now but he says in 1992, The U.S. ignored Afghanistan because it had no oil and no coast line.
“The policy of running away from Afghanistan and ignoring them already failed in the 1990s, and we probably should learn that lesson,” Kirk said.
“We paid the price on 9/11,” he continued.
Kirks says when U.S. troops leave, the strain on the Afghan military will be strained.