August 29, 2021

Fox News host Chris Wallace questioned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about his desire to fight an endless war in Afghanistan.

During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, McConnell argued that the Afghanistan war had been a "complete success" and that the U.S. could safely maintain an indefinite military presence in the country with just 2,500 troops.

But Wallace pointed out that President Joe Biden's Pentagon advisers have said that at least 10,000 more troops would be required if the war continues.

"Does President Biden have a point there?" Wallace wondered. "If in April, he had said, 'Hey, the Trump deal is off. We're staying in. In fact, we're going to beef up the number of troops,' he contends we've been back in a full-scale war with the Taliban and, unfortunately, taking a lot of casualties."

McConnell insisted that the assessment was "totally not accurate."

"We haven't lost as many as 13 people, which we lost Thursday, in any of the last four years," the Republican leader said. "Our casualties since 2014 have been quite modest. Quite modest."

"Remember in the whole war, we have regretfully lost a couple thousand of our people," he added. "That's very regretful but the Afghans have lost 65,000. They have been fighting. And we've been in the background helping them with counterterrorism and the ongoing training of the military."

McConnell did not explain why the Afghan government and military could not support itself after 20 years of U.S. help.

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