Representative Sander Levin issued the following statement after President Obama's address on the war in Afghanistan.
"After 8 years of a failed policy, the President basically had two difficult alternatives: to withdraw from the effort to stabilize conditions in this key area, or to put together a new plan.
"The President has chosen the path of a new plan. Its foundation is that the U.S. has a national security interest in preventing the Taliban from retaking control of Afghanistan which would allow terrorists lead by Al Qaeda to use it again as a base to launch attacks on our nation or to create further instability next door in nuclear-armed Pakistan.
"The plan is built on two pillars: military efforts alone will not create stability, and without a more effective military effort, the necessary non-military progress vital to security is unlikely to succeed.
"I agree that key to the success of the new plan is that increased U.S. and allied troop levels must focus on training adequate Afghan forces to take control of the security of their own nation and that to increase the pressure on Afghanistan to do that, the U.S. troop commitment must not be open-ended so that after 18 months, U.S. troops will begin to come home."