Defense Secretary Jim Mattis placed the blame for the current mess in Afghanistan squarely on the Obama administration, telling Congress Wednesday that by cutting support for the Afghan forces prematurely, President Obama allowed the Taliban to regroup and recover.

 “I believe that we pulled out forces at a time, as you know, when the violence was lower, but we pulled them out on a timeline rather than consistent with the maturation of the government and the security forces,” Mattis told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.

“The result was that as security declined, all the other stresses have come to bear, to include heavy casualties on the part of the Afghan forces, other nations pulled their forces out as well, and the Taliban was emboldened.”

 

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