The Neverending Story: McCain Wants US to Keep Troops in Afghanistan

© REUTERS / Yuri Gripas US Senator John McCain
US Senator John McCain - Sputnik International
US Senator John McCain is banging the drums over the necessity to keep the US military presence in Afghanistan and lambasting Obama's decision to withdraw American troops from the region by the end of 2016.

US Senator John McCain is vexed over the Obama administration's plans to close the remaining US military bases in Afghanistan and significantly diminish the number of American troops — from 9,800 to 1,000 — in the region by the end of 2016; according to the politician, Washington is digging its own grave.

"A calendar-based withdrawal — that would be a tragedy, and in my view, an opening for the Taliban to gain and create success here in Afghanistan," John McCain said in an official statement in Kabul.

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According to McCain, the Taliban will immediately grasp the opportunity to seize further control over the western Afghanistan as well as its eastern regions.

"The Taliban still has significant capabilities, and those capabilities can best be countered by continued US military support and without that the place is at risk," the US Senator insisted.

The politician deems that the US troop withdrawal will also play into ISIL's (the Islamic State) hands.

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While the Obama administration is trying to bring an end to the US' Afghani campaign, already dubbed the longest war in the US history, Senator McCain believes that American troops should stay longer in Afghanistan in order to prevent the Taliban from making advances. The senator underscored that NATO and US should at least keep 5,000 — 6,000 troops in the region, including the US' bases in Kandahar and Kabul after 2016.

John McCain shared his views on the issue after a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He said that he supports Ghani's appeal for a throughout intelligence assessment of the situation on the ground aimed at determining the proper size of the US military presence in Afghanistan after 2016.

There are currently 9,800 US troops in the region, while in 2011 the number of US military servicemen amounted to around 100,000.

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