Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement after voting late last night for a complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as part of the war supplemental.
"From the beginning, I opposed President Obama's decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan. Despite the bravery and valor of our servicemen and women, it has become clearer with each passing day that there is no military solution there. Our goal--to disrupt and defeat al-Qaeda wherever they exist--would be better served through a combination of special forces, intelligence and counterterrorism operations. The conflict in Afghanistan is now the longest war in American history and we just experienced its deadliest month for NATO troops. During an appearance Sunday on ABC's "This Week," CIA Director Leon Panetta said there may be fewer than 50 al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan, raising doubts about the necessity of our presence there. It is my belief that we should begin redeploying our troops from Afghanistan, refocus the fight on our enemy, and start rebuilding our own country again. Although it did not pass, I strongly supported an amendment to the supplemental offered by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) that would have required the President to submit to Congress a plan by April 4, 2011 for the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for its completion. I hope we can revive this amendment in a future defense bill. I can no longer in good conscience support funding for this war without a viable exit strategy."