“But are we likely to have troops in Afghanistan for the next decade? Sure,” Corker said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd aired on Sunday.
Todd noted that when Corker was reelected a decade ago there were troops in that country. Corker announced earlier this week he plans to retire from the Senate and won’t be running for reelection next year. Todd suggested his successor will still be dealing with the issues surrounding U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2019.
“The entire GDP of Afghanistan cannot support even their security forces,” Corker said. “But what matters, Chuck, is what those troops are doing.”
The Pentagon unveiled for the first time in August the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan stood at 11,000. It said at least 2,000 were there to conduct counter-terrorism missions.
The Afghan Defense Ministry, however, welcomed the U.S. troop surge and their presence in Afghanistan.
“It is a decision between Afghanistan and the United States, and any decision is acceptable for the defense ministry,” said Dawlat Waziri, a Spokesman for the Defense Ministry.