In an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this Friday, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) got an earful from host Joe Scarborough when the congressman tried to make the case for keeping troops in Afghanistan.
“You do believe the Republican Party’s foreign policy has been too expansive over the past decade?” Scarborough asked. “We’ve even, dare I say, as a country engaged in military adventurism that has not put the United States first.”
King immediately disagreed with the Morning Joe host, asserting that Afghanistan is a necessary evil in the fight against terrorism.
“We had to be in Afghanistan, not so much because of what happens in Afghanistan, per se,” King replied. “But if we — for instance, once we’re out of Afghanistan, what’s going to happen to Afghanistan? What’s going to happen as far as destabilization?”
“How long should we stay in Afghanistan?” Scarborough asked incredulously. “Another 12 years?”
Scarborough went to point out that the dynamics of Al Qaeda had changed and that they were no longer “centered” in Afghanistan. “Al Qaeda is not geographically centric anywhere now,” Scarborough added. “It’s in Yemen, it’s in Africa, it’s across the globe. We can’t be the world’s 9-1-1.”
“That’s the type of exaggerated debate that does not help us,” King shot back.
“Peter, it’s not an exaggerated debate,” Scarborough replied forcefully. “We have been in Afghanistan since 2001. There are people dying in Afghanistan this week that were 5,6,7 years-old when the war started.”
Scarborough then reiterated his belief that it’s not America’s job to police the world, to which King asserted that if the U.S. “arbitrarily” withdraws from Afghanistan, it leaves itself vulnerable to an attack.
“Arbitrarily withdraw? We’ve been there for over 12 years!” Scarborough yelled. “They’re still going to be there. They’re going to be there ten years from now. They’re going to be there 20 years from now.”
Watch the heated exchange in the video below.