Pelosi Statement on Trump’s Announced Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq

November 17, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the Trump Administration announced that it would withdraw nearly half of America’s military presence in Afghanistan and significantly reduce troops in Iraq, reportedly against the recommendation of the military chain of command:

“Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership to protect America’s security and that of the region.  America went into Afghanistan with NATO, and it is concerning that Trump’s withdrawal is being carried out without the close and comprehensive coordination of NATO.  It is important to note that NATO is a key partner contributing over half of the troop presence in Afghanistan.  This hasty withdrawal does not appear to have a strategic plan that adequately anticipates contingencies, especially related to terrorism and the protection of our military, diplomats and development presence. 

“As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned today, ‘The price for leaving too soon or in an uncoordinated way could be very high.  Afghanistan risks becoming once again a platform for international terrorists to plan and organize attacks on our homelands.  And ISIS could rebuild in Afghanistan the terror caliphate it lost in Syria and Iraq.’

“We can ill afford to lose the hard-won gains in the pillars of security, economic development and governance made in Afghanistan.  We always want to bring our troops home and look forward to welcoming them back to American shores safely as soon as possible.”