(PresidentialInsider.com)- Mitt Romney is once again ruffling feathers on Capitol Hill, this time disagreeing with both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden for how the U.S. military should handle Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, the Republican senator from Utah said he agrees with the top military generals who say America shouldn’t proceed with a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan just yet.
Trump began the withdrawal of troops last year, and Biden has said he’s committed to withdrawing those who remain by September 11. That date would mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.
After he received a classified briefing on the troop withdrawal, Romney said:
“The president’s plan to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by September is an error that could have serious consequences for our national security interests. Like all Americans, I want our troops to come home, but I recognize and profoundly appreciate the vital role they often play in far and dangerous places like Afghanistan to protect our national security.”
Romney’s reasoning is that American troops still need to be in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from aiding other terrorist groups such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. The senator also said that American troops are currently supporting the democratic government that’s in place in Afghanistan, while safeguarding rights of both girls and women.
To counter that point, Biden said the U.S. will still monitor any terrorist threats and will continue to hold the Taliban accountable to last year’s pact where they agreed to not let any terrorist groups threaten Afghanistan, the U.S. or their allies.
To protect the rights of girls and women in Afghanistan, Biden promised “humanitarian and development assistance.” What that exactly means is unknown.
Not only is Romney’s stance against what Trump believed and what Biden believes, it also goes against many other politicians in his home state. Republican Senator Mike Lee, for example, has been calling for the end to the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan for a while now.
Following Biden’s announcement of the full troop withdrawal, Lee said:
“I’m glad to see us moving out. I’ve got a daughter who was an infant when that war started. She is now halfway through college. I want to see us get out of there. A timely withdrawal seems like a good thing to me.”
Representative Chris Stewart, another Republican from Utah serving in Washington, D.C., has also publicly stated that he supports the full withdrawal of troops from the country. He said:
“As a 14-year veteran of the Air Force, I know firsthand the enormous challenges we face overseas. Every year, security in the region gets worse and not better. America is better served to reallocate its resources and focus on the more immediate challenges we face around the world. I am grateful for President Biden’s decision to end this needless war.”
Once again, Romney has positioned himself as a fish out of water here, both among Republicans and other politicians in his home state.