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Kinzinger scorches Obama over Afghanistan withdrawal plan

WASHINGTON — Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-Ill. issued a scathing rebuke to President Barack Obama in the wake of his Tuesday announcement to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan to the point that, in 2016, the only soldiers left will be guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Obama outlined a plan to send 22,000 troops home by the end of the year, wrapping up the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan. At the start of 2015 — if the Afghan leadership signs a Bilateral Security Agreement with NATO — the U.S. will keep 9,800 troops in the country, with that number cut in half by the end of 2015.

“The President’s announcement today was a callous act of political convenience that undermines our entire mission in Afghanistan,” said Kinzinger in a statement. “We cannot dedicate troops to an operation while giving our enemies a timeline for withdrawal in the very next breath. It is these sorts of decisions that continue to undermine America’s standing in the world, and President Obama shows no signs of changing course any time soon.”

Kinzinger, a major in the Air National Guard, served in Iraq and Afghanistan.