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Afghanistan War Powers Resolution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, while I support the intent of this bill, I rise in reluctant opposition to H. Con. Res. 28, legislation introduced by Congressman KUCINICH directing the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan within 30 days.

I agree with Congressman Kucinich that we must have an exit strategy and a concrete plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. However, I voted against this resolution when it came up for a vote last year because I believed that withdrawing all troops 30 days after enactment of the bill was unrealistic.

Yesterday, along with a large number of my like-minded colleagues in the House, I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to prepare for a significant and sizeable drawdown of troops from Afghanistan that begins this July. I ask for permission to include this letter for the record.

Last December, the Obama Administration concluded in its review of the war in Afghanistan that we will be ready to begin a responsible drawdown in July 2011. This week, General Petraeus testified before Congress that he would keep our military and counterinsurgency gains in mind as he begins to provide recommendations to the President on commencing our military drawdown in July.

We have now entered the tenth year that American troops have been in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history. An overwhelming majority of the American people--including an increasing number of Members of Congress--supports a safe and significant redeployment of U.S troops from Afghanistan soon.

There is no question that we need to end our mission in Afghanistan. I will carefully review the Obama Administration's assessment of the war effort, including plans for a drawdown, in the coming months. Insufficient progress in withdrawing U.S. troops by July 2011 will compel me to support a resolution like this in the future.


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