(Hartford, CT) - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on President Obama’s decision to halt the withdrawal of U.S. military troops in Afghanistan. The United States will keep the current 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through 2016, and reduce to 5,500 troops in 2017 to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely:
"The President's decision to keep American troops in Afghanistan is a reasonable response to the imminent threat of a Taliban takeover. This careful, cautious commitment must be matched with an even greater, significant and sufficient effort by the government of Afghanistan to train and equip its military, root out endemic corruption and work with its neighbors, particularly Pakistan, to support a peaceful resolution to this conflict. Our nation continues to owe a huge debt of gratitude to our troops who serve in Afghanistan and secure our own country from the threat of terrorism."