Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks out of the Senate Chamber after passing a continuing resolution to reopen the government, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

McConnell warns against early exit from Syria, Afghanistan

January 29, 2019 - 10:55 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Islamic State and al-Qaida militants still pose a "serious threat" to the United States — and he's cautioning the Trump administration against an early exit from Syria and Afghanistan.

In an apparent pushback to the White House, McConnell said Tuesday the U.S. is not "the world's policeman," but is the "leader of the free world."

He says he plans to propose an amendment to highlight a need for diplomatic engagement and political solutions to the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump has announced a U.S. pullout from Syria — a decision that prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign. Trump also has ordered the military to develop plans to pull out up to half of the 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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