U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) doesn’t support President Obama’s plan to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. That plan would reduce the country’s presence in Afghanistan to 9,800 troops by the end of the year, with all remaining forces pulling out by 2016. Kirk believes that leaves Afghanistan open for terrorist groups to re-establish their presence.
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“What I would like to see is a residual strike force that maintained a government that didn’t hate us and didn’t allow Afghanistan to become a base against us,” Kirk said. There are currently about 32,000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 100,000 in 2011.