Coble Statement On Afghan Speech
--Prior to President Barack Obama's speech to the nation tonight concerning the war in Afghanistan, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) issued the following statement:
"While everyone now knows that President Obama will call for additional troops to supplement our efforts in Afghanistan, I am more interested in hearing what he has to say about our long-term commitment in that long-troubled country. The more time I spend talking to constituents in the 6th District, the more I hear a growing concern for how much this war has cost us in terms of blood and treasure. I also hear additional concern for what our ultimate goal is in Afghanistan. I have these same concerns.
"Do we remain the lead in the military effort to battle the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan? Do we become an occupying or police force that is attempting to keep the peace in a violent country? I do know for sure that I want us to begin turning the reins over to the Afghans to rule their own country sooner rather than later. I will be listening closely to see which direction President Obama hopes to pursue.
"As someone who voted against the troop surge in Iraq in 2007, I have also always voted to fund our military's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress will most likely vote on the future funding of our efforts in Afghanistan and not the actual increase in troop numbers. There is already talk on Capitol Hill of raising taxes to pay for our war efforts. I eagerly wait to see what the plan is to pay for the war in Afghanistan."