WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Republican leader says he's optimistic about Afghanistan and favors a residual U.S. force after combat troops leave in 2014 of about 10,000.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky spoke with reporters on Monday after completing his seventh trip to the country. He traveled with Republican Sens. John Barrasso (buh-RAS'-oh) of Wyoming, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ted Cruz of Texas and Deb Fischer of Nebraska.
McConnell said after meetings with military leaders, including Gen. John Allen, he left the country with a genuine sense of optimism.
Combat troops are slated to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. At issue is the size of a residual force for training and assisting Afghans.
The congressional group also traveled to Israel where they met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo).