Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus called the President's plan to move U.S. troops in Afghanistan to a "support role" a step in the right direction. President Barack Obama's announcement today follows a bipartisan measure Baucus secured in the National Defense Authorization Bill, passed in December, that called on the President to steadily draw down U.S. troop levels, and to hand over lead security operations to the government of Afghanistan by mid-summer 2013.
"Our troops have done an incredible job. Now, it's time to let Afghans take responsibility for their own country and focus our nation building here at home. Today's announcement is a step in the right direction," Baucus said.
Yesterday, Baucus announced plans to introduce legislation in the next Congress to redouble efforts to address veteran unemployment to ensure troops have good paying jobs when they return home.
· In December, Baucus secured an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill that called on the President to steadily draw down U.S. troop levels, and to hand over lead security operations to the government of Afghanistan by mid-summer 2013.
· In March, Baucus led a bipartisan group of 24 Senators calling on the President to bring American combat forces home from Afghanistan.
· Baucus has repeatedly been calling for a change of course in Afghanistan since the death of Osama bin Laden last Spring