It is clear that the President has given careful and thoughtful consideration to the dire situation that he inherited in Afghanistan. Had this approach been taken with the previous administration, we would be in a very different position right now. The brightest spot, for me, is his commitment to a timeline to begin wrapping up our operations in Afghanistan.
However I still have serious concerns about our involvement in Afghanistan and, despite the President's reassurances to the contrary, I think the comparison to Vietnam is a valid one. Like many Americans, I am still unclear on what our mission is and what will constitute success.
I believe that Congress should have the opportunity to vote on the $30 billion required to fund this surge prior to troops being deployed and, if we decide to move forward, find an appropriate means by which to pay for it.
Any commitment of additional troops to a warzone must also include increased funding for veterans' services for when they return. In my brief time in Congress, I have been alarmed by the lack of resources for veterans and military families at a time when they need our help the most. Of particular importance is making sure we have adequate resources for treating post traumatic stress and other mental health issues which might not be immediately visible but, far too often, prove to be fatal.