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Public Statements

Issue Position: Afghanistan

Issue Position

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Afghanistan is one of the vital fronts in the war on terrorism where we face many challenges. I commend President Obama for understanding the importance of continuing America's mission in Afghanistan by sending 30,000 additional troops to quash the increased violence. Our military commanders can now effectively begin the process of preparing for the additional troops in reversing the Taliban's momentum.

I hope the Administration remains committed to the difficult mission ahead by refusing to place a firm timetable for troop withdrawal. The Taliban have a saying, "The Americans have the watches. We have the time." Providing a timetable for a pullout will only cause the Taliban to wait it out. Any future troop reductions should depend on current conditions on the ground and advice from our commanders.

We cannot allow the country to once again become a training ground for terrorists and see all of our work and sacrifice over the last eight years be for nothing. Through their bravery and dedication to the cause, our men and women in the armed forces will continue to make us a safe and secure nation."

We need to enact a military and political surge. The Obama Administration needs to be equally aggressive by applying pressure to Afghan leaders by requiring the government to show political progress. We need to make clear to Afghan leaders and its people that the U.S. will not stay indefinitely. The U.S. can assist the Afghan government by helping with infrastructure projects such as street improvements and development of sewage systems, increasing the 30% literacy rate of the people and enacting training programs to put the Afghan people to work in efforts in building their own country. Such moves will improve the lives of the Afghan people and thereby discourage them from supporting the Taliban.

We also need to remember that Afghanistan is a NATO operation. We need to do a better job of fully explaining the dangers if we do not step up the efforts against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The Taliban cannot return to power and go back to the days before September 11 when Afghanistan was a safe haven for members of Al-Qaeda. We cannot allow the country to once again become a training ground for terrorists and see all of our work and sacrifice over the last eight years be for nothing. The United States should not be left shouldering this responsibility alone.


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