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Klobuchar open to keeping limited troop presence in Afghanistan

Klobuchar: Trump uses tariffs "like a meat cleaver"
Klobuchar says Trump uses tariffs "like a meat cleaver" 06:50

Like other Democrats running for president, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar believes it's time for American troops fighting in the nearly two-decade-long war in Afghanistan to come home. But she's also open to keeping a limited U.S. military presence in the country. 

"You could always have training footprints and people working there ready to go if there is a complete upsurge," Klobuchar said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "But I think that you have to make sure that this country can function on their own."

In recent months, the Trump administration has been holding peace talks with Taliban militants. The fundamentalist group — which governed Afghanistan until a U.S.-led coalition invaded the country in 2001 — has opposed negotiating directly with the current government in Kabul. But the two sides have yet to reach an agreement to end what has become the longest war in American history. 

"We have people that were now are deploying that weren't even born when we got into Afghanistan," Klobuchar said on Sunday. 

The U.S. currently has about 14,000 troops in the country, but President Trump has signaled he wants a major drawdown as soon as possible, given the seemingly intractable nature of the conflict. Foreign policy hawks in his own party, like staunch ally Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have urged Mr. Trump to maintain a "robust" military presence in Afghanistan for national security purposes. 

Although she also supports withdrawing most U.S. forces from the country, Klobuchar stressed that the U.S. government needs to secure a lasting and balanced agreement with the Taliban that ensures the recent social and political reforms in Afghanistan continue. 

"You want to make sure a lot of the gains we made with women in government and the democracy gains that we made in Afghanistan stay the same," she said. "But yes, I think we need to start bringing our troops home."

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