Neil

Reaction to President Obama’s plans for the Afghanistan War

Here are some reactions to President Obama’s plans for the Afghanistan War.

Here are some reactions to President Obama’s plans for the Afghanistan War.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced his support for the troop surge during a speech on the Senate floor this morning.

 

 

More reaction:

“It’s about time.  We have waited far too long for this decision from President Obama.  Every day that the President has procrastinated on this, he has unnecessarily put the lives of our service members at risk.  I am glad he is finally heeding the call of our commanders for more troops.  
 
“However, I have serious concerns about President Obama’s commitment to actually winning the war given his troubling decision to set a timetable for troop withdrawal.  By announcing an arbitrary deadline for our forces to come home -- possibly before the job is done -- the President is telling our enemies how long they will have to hold out and wait until we leave.  I fear he could be setting all our efforts up for defeat and further putting our fighting men and women in danger.  I am deeply troubled by this.
 
“We learned a lot from the Bush administration’s revised strategy for Iraq that put that war on a path to success. It would be a shame if this President did not apply those hard learned lessons to the current conflict in Afghanistan.” – Sen. Jim Bunning, R-KY

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"I believe the President has thoughtfully explored the various options, gathered diverse view points from his political, national security and military advisors as well as our international allies and arrived at a sound decision. His deliberative process is a refreshing departure from his predecessor's shoot from the hip, secretive approach to making difficult decisions that impact our men and women in uniform, their families and our nation.
 
I support the President's proposal to increase our troops in Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaeda and their terrorist supporters. I believe we have to defeat the Al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the attacks on 9/11 who are still present in the region and remain a threat to our national security.  I believe the President clearly defined the mission, how he intends to accomplish that mission and equally important a reasonable time frame for when we can expect to bring the war in Afghanistan to a close.
 
With Fort Campbell and Fort Knox and thousands of Kentuckians serving in uniform, I believe we must do everything we can to make sure they have the resources necessary to complete their mission as safely and quickly as possible." – Daniel Mongiardo, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate

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"I think it is apparent that the President has given this issue of escalation in Afghanistan great deal of serious thought, and I appreciate the appropriate tone of his remarks, as well as the laudable goals he set forth.



"Success in this venture will mean leaving behind a stable government in Afghanistan that does not provide safe haven to Al-Qaeda.  In order to do that, the United States will need serious commitments from NATO partners as well as political cooperation from partners in the region.  While I agree with the President's goals, I heard too little about political cooperation from Pakistan and the threat it poses.  Pakistan harbors the most dangerous mix of terrorists and nuclear weapons in the world. This is where our focus should be. We must have a policy that roots out terrorists from their hiding places, eliminates their threat, and brings our troops home quickly.



"As a United States Senator it would be my primary duty to help keep Americans safe. I would also weigh how any plan of action would affect Kentucky, our troops, their families and our standing among other nations.  I know our military men and women will serve valiantly, but I have reservations about the President's position to send more troops. I do not feel President Obama has adequately explained how he will get Pakistan involved in the effort to combat Al-Qaeda. At its core, we are dealing with a regional issue which requires the cooperation of regional partners to ensure success." – Jack Conway, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate

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“I support the President’s decision to finally accept the recommendations of commanders on the ground and order a surge of forces in Afghanistan. I disagree with those who believe we should set a date certain for withdrawal from Afghanistan and believe that we must show the necessary commitment to success for the Afghan people, for our allies, and to our enemies.  We all want our troops to come home, but not until Afghanistan Security Forces are sufficiently able to secure the country and prevent it from being overrun by Al Qaeda again, creating a situation that could lead to another attack on the United States.  I will be watching with great interest as more details on the President’s strategy are provided in testimony before Congress.  Key to success is a clear mission with measureable results in the ability of Afghan Security Forces to secure the country.” – Trey Grayson, Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate

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“The enemy was emboldened with Obama’s speech that was more exit strategy than commitment to winning against the terrorist in Afghanistan. I do not support a timetable for withdraw when the security of our nation is at risk. The President wants to exit Afghanistan instead of ensuring overwhelming victory. The addition of 30,000 troops falls short of the number requested by General McChrystal and is a political response to a military problem.”    - Bill Johnson, Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate

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"The Afghanistan-Pakistan review led by the president has provided me with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task. The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the president's address are critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security." - Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

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"This is not a U.S. mission alone. There are 43 countries on the ground under NATO command and I am confident that other allies and partners will also make a substantial increase in their contributions." - NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

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"I disagree with the president's two key assumptions: that we can transfer responsibility to Afghanistan after 18 months and that our NATO allies will make a significant contribution." - Sen.Arlen Specter, D-Pa.

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"If the president remains committed to this crucial fight, Republicans and the American people will stand with him. But sending mixed signals by outlining the exit before these troops even get on the ground undermines their ability to succeed." - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

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"I am pleased that he made clear that our resources are not unlimited and our commitment is not open-ended. ... The president drew an essential distinction between his approach to the war and that of the previous administration." - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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"I see no good reason for us to send another 30,000 or more troops to Afghanistan when we have so many pressing issues – like our economy - to deal with in this country." - Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.

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"What I do not support, and what concerns me greatly, is the president's decision to set an arbitrary date to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan. A date for withdrawal sends exactly the wrong message to both our friends and our enemies." - Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

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"I think that Gen. McChrystal will be able to use the 30,000 effectively. More would have been better, but this is what the president has recommended and that's what we'll support." - Sen.Kit Bond, R-Mo.

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"The American Legion is opposed to any exit strategy that takes place before the mission in Afghanistan is accomplished ... To do otherwise would more correctly be called a 'surrender strategy' to which the Legion would be opposed." - Clarence E. Hill, American Legion's national commander.

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"It's an expensive gamble to undertake armed nation-building on behalf of a corrupt government of questionable legitimacy. Sending more troops could further destabilize Afghanistan and, more importantly, Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state where al-Qaida is headquartered." - Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

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"That will be very, very difficult but necessary strategy." - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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"Canada welcomes the additional military and civilian resources the United States will deploy to Afghanistan, particularly to the south. Additional U.S. resources will help to provide a more secure environment for the Afghan people." - Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

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"We're told a long-term, multiyear commitment is necessary for success. That could cost anywhere from $500 billion to $900 billion over the next decade, which could devour our ability to pay for the actions necessary to rebuild our own economy." - Rep. David Obey, D-Wis.

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"My major concern is that the administration is more focused on an exit strategy than a success strategy. An exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success." - Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

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"I remain skeptical ... about a significant troop buildup when the legitimacy of our Afghan partner is in serious question." - Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass.

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"The need for additional troops only reinforces the need for timely VA and defense funding. Both the VA and defense budgets are now more than two months late, and our leaders in Congress must act quickly to ensure that we meet the needs of those brave enough to fight our nation's wars." - AMVETS, a veteran's advocacy group.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article)

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Do you agree with the President’s plans for the Afghanistan War?  Let me know our thoughts.

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God Bless America!
 
Neil Middleton
WYMT Mountain News
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