World Bulletin/News Desk
Republicans gave mixed reactions to President Barack Obama’s announcement Tuesday concerning the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan, planned for the end of 2014.
While John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, expressed satisfaction with the announcement, others such as Senator John McCain of Arizona have criticized the decision to cut down the number of troops.
"The president’s decision to set an arbitrary date for the full withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is a monumental mistake and a triumph of politics over strategy," he said in a joint statement with Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Critics worry that the cuts in troops in Afghanistan could cause Al Qaeda to emerge once again.
"This is a short-sighted decision that will make it harder to end the war in Afghanistan responsibly," said the statement.
In 2015, there will be approximately 9,800 U.S. service members in different parts of Afghanistan along with NATO allies and other partners, Obama said on Tuesday.
"Afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country," he said.
"American personnel will be in an advisory role. We will no longer patrol Afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. That is a task for the Afghan people."
Although the Pentagon estimates the cost of the Afghanistan war, which started in 2001, at $608 billion, the real cost is expected to be much higher, reaching trillions.
According to the Pentagon, 2,168 soldiers lost their lives in the Afghan war.
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