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U.S. Sen. Jack Reed Backs Obama On Troops In Afghanistan

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Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan. The policy...

Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan. The policy reversal will leave one of the President’s promises unfulfilled.

A total of 5,500U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan into at least 2017, according to President Obama, who will leave office before that. U.S. troops have been stationed in the country since the fall of 2001.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed said the troops are needed to train the Afghan military and protect the U.S. from potential terrorist activity.

“This lay down of forces allows the United States and its NATO allies to stay engaged in both those missions, to have positions in several locations in Afghanistan, so that they can particularly affect the counter-terrorism operations,” said Reed.

Reed said the U.S. should set a new timetable to withdraw from Afghanistan.

“This can’t be an open-ended commitment, and that’s one reason why I think the President was very clear and insistent you know the direction of our forces is not going to be up, up, up,” said Reed. “It’s going to be stable and then down.”

Reed said it remains unclear when the U.S. will be able to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, a decision that will fall to Obama's successor.

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Rhode Island's U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services committee.
Rhode Island's U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services committee.