- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Following news of the Taliban takeover of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain on Tuesday blasted the Obama administration’s hasty deadline for troop withdrawals from the region.

“President Obama’s calendar-based drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan despite conditions on the ground has created an opening for the Taliban and placed at risk the hard-earned gains of the past decade,” Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, said in a statement, Fox News reported. “The Taliban’s capture of the key city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan is the latest manifestation of this dangerous reversal.”

Noting that Mr. Obama is still planning to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, Mr. McCain called on the president to “abandon this dangerous and arbitrary course and adopt a plan for U.S. troop presence based on conditions on the ground.”

His remarks come as the U.S. led airstrikes to help Afghan forces retake the strategic city. The Taliban takeover marks the first time a major Afghan city has fallen in 14 years.

The takeover comes just days after it was revealed that U.S. and allied forces may be re-evaluating the troop drawdown, with the top commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. John Campbell, sending five recommendations to the Pentagon and NATO officials in Brussels with different risk assessments and proposals for keeping some troops in the region.

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