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Angus King: Anti-Terrorism Efforts Could Require ‘Indefinite Presence’ In Afghanistan, Syria

Jacquelyn Martin
Associated Press/file
In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, speaks about immigration on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine told fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that anti-terrorist efforts will require some level of troop support in certain areas of the world, including Afghanistan.

King says he doesn’t believe its being made clear to the American people that relatively small troop deployments will have to be maintained as part of the war on terror. He spoke with retired U.S. Army Gen. John Keane, who says troops will be needed to keep pressure on terrorist pockets.

“Keep our foot on their throat in Syria to make sure they don’t re-emerge,” Keane says.

“I think you would agree … if that’s going to be the case, somebody has got to tell the American people,” King says. “Is a case you would make to the American people that this is a place where we need an indefinite presence — not at a terribly high level but at a level that will enable us to keep our foot on the throats of the terrorists?”

“I totally agree with that assessment,” Keane says.

King says he is also concerned about the quality of the information from administration sources that the Armed Services Committee is getting about the need to support anti-terrorist efforts. He says that information is often different from what he’s told as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.