- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis does not approve of President Obama’s exit plan for Afghanistan.

“Why does the U.S. government have to level the playing field for the enemy?” he asked Thursday, the Army Times reported.

The former leader of U.S. Central Command said that the White House’s strategy “sends a message” to allies and enemies that the U.S. is not fully committed to destroying the Taliban, the Times reported.

Roughly 10,000 troops would stay in the country and exit by 2016 under the president’s plan.

“We asked for 13,600 troops several years ago,” Gen. Mattis said, the Army Times reported. “We want to crush the enemy’s hope to win through violence … [yet] we have now given the enemy hope that if they hang on until our announced withdrawal date they can perhaps come back.”

The cost of keeping 10,000 troops in Afghanistan to train security is expected to be $20 billion in fiscal 2015, the paper reported. The costs for operations in 2011 was roughly $100 billion.

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