“A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said bluntly…

“The concern would be it would turn into a Saigon-type of situation where it would fall very quickly and then our ability to conduct operations against terrorist elements in the region could be compromised,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a brief interview. “That’s my primary concern right now.”

Republicans expressed widespread fear that lowering the number of troops could allow the Taliban to continue to overthrow elements of the Afghan government.

“You can’t simply unilaterally draw down troops,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Armed Services Committee. “I think it’s a serious mistake to unilaterally walk away.”