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(CNSNews.com) - Two of the two dozen liberal Democrats now running for president made appearances on different Sunday news-maker shows, both of them agreeing that it's time for U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan; and both saying it's wrong to send 1,500 more U.S. troops to the Middle East to deter Iranian aggression.
Martha Raddatz, host of ABC's "This Week," asked South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg if he would have approved the Pentagon's request to send 1,500 more U.S. troops to the Middle East. President Trump has said those troops would have a "mostly protective" mission.
Security - Policy - Escalation - Persian - Gulf
"I think our national security policy has to be to avoid escalation in the Persian Gulf," Buttigieg said.
"Escalation is the last thing we need in the Middle East right now. And when you see what's been happening, it appears that the administration, driven, by the way, by John Bolton, one of the architects of the Iraq War, is continuing to try to prosecute a case to lead to higher tensions, escalation and perhaps conflict with Iran as though we learned nothing from the last 15 years of armed conflict -- conflict in the Middle East."
Buttigieg - Troop - Deployment - Attempt - President
Buttigieg suggested that the troop deployment may be an attempt by the president to distract from other issues:
"I think that we have the means to protect our assets in the Middle East. And the way this is being talked about makes me wonder whether this -- this is driven as much by domestic politics as it is by national security imperatives."
Afghanistan - Buttigieg
On Afghanistan, Buttigieg said, "We need to leave."
"When I left Afghanistan five years ago, I thought I was one of the very last troops turning out the lights as I went. We need to leave. And the reality is, we are leaving. This is pretty much the only thing that the American left...
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