Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Thursday that if he wins the election in November, he will not fully withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Biden told Stars and Stripes Thursday he supported a continued presence of up to 2,000 ground troops throughout the region for executing operations against ISIS and other terror threats.
“These ‘forever wars’ have to end,” Biden told the military paper. “I support drawing down the troops. But here’s the problem, we still have to worry about terrorism and [the Islamic State],” Biden said.
Biden tells @starsandstripes that conditions in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are so complicated that he cannot promise full withdrawal of troops in the near future and would likely keep a max 1500-2000 troops on the ground.https://t.co/QnUC6BUN5L
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) September 11, 2020
Biden also said that he did not favor cuts to U.S. defense spending, citing the need to deter “near-peer” powers like China and Russia.
Biden’s position stands in contrast to many progressives who support a full withdrawal of American troops from the region.
Though “Biden is on the conservative side of where the party is,” said Matt Duss, a foreign