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Baldwin Statement on President Obama's Speech on Afghanistan


Location: Unknown

"President Obama's speech marks a new chapter in U.S.- Afghanistan relations.

Following the heinous, terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress approved, and I supported, the use of military force in Afghanistan against the perpetrators of those attacks and those who harbored them.

That mission was accomplished years ago by the courageous men and women of our armed forces who paid a heavy price for a war that has continued far too long. We owe our servicemembers and their families a tremendous debt of gratitude for their sacrifices. We also owe them a full measure of respect and dedication to their health and well-being on their return home. This includes ensuring access to job training, employment and housing as well as comprehensive medical care and counseling.

The President reiterated his commitment to end U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan and bring combat troops home by 2014. He also announced a commitment to a continued American military presence in Afghanistan for an additional 10 years to support Afghan security, training and development. I do not support extending our military presence in Afghanistan.

Our nation continues to face great economic challenges. It is time to bring our troops home safely as soon as possible and redirect the roughly $2 billion we spend in Afghanistan each week to balance our budget and strengthen our own economy."

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