WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.  President Trump is once again choosing the wrong way and we can’t let U.S. national security and our relationships with steadfast partners become a casualty of President Trump’s wounded ego.

“Instead of heeding the advice of national security professionals and working with our allies, President Trump is venting his frustration over losing the election in a manner that is more costly, jeopardizes our military personnel, aids the Taliban and terrorist networks, and emboldens those who want greater conflict with Iran.

“There are no easy solutions to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but this short-sighted approach won’t bring peace and is more likely to threaten America’s interests.

“Like all Americans, I want our military personnel brought home as soon as possible.  But there is a difference between a strategic, coordinated drawdown and rash, reckless abandonment of the mission and our partners and allies. 

“President Trump seems to think this lame-duck move will bolster his legacy, but in the process he is making it more difficult for President-elect Biden to wisely safeguard the nation and doing harm to our network of alliances and partnerships.

“President Trump’s cynical, chaotic approach could trigger increased chaos and violence in Afghanistan that emboldens the Taliban, ISIS, and terrorist networks that remain intent on targeting Americans and U.S. interests across the globe. That he has apparently made this decision without consulting our NATO allies and coalition partners is astounding.

“The President owes the American people, the men and women of our military, the Congress, and our foreign partners an explanation of how our collective interests are served by these reductions and a clear definition of the military mission going forward.

“The American people don’t want endless war and wisely chose a thoughtful leader in President-elect Biden who will seek to leverage all elements of our national power to responsibly end these conflicts and refocus on other pressing threats.”