Jim's Column

Action in Afghanistan

f t # e
Washington, December 6, 2009 | Wendy Riemann ((202) 225-5101) | comments

President Obama started the month of December by announcing that an additional 30,000 American troops will be sent to Afghanistan before approximately August 31, 2010.  

Our military commanders on the ground requested the additional troops months ago, so I am glad the President has finally decided to honor part of the request.  It is my sincere hope that his strategy succeeds.

I have always and will always fully support the troops who are protecting our nation both here and abroad, and I share in their commitment to preventing al-Qaeda from finding a safe haven where they can continue to plot their vicious and evil attacks on innocent civilians. 

While it’s good that the President has recognized that we are at war, I have concerns about his thought process and strategy. 

I am dismayed that the President is going against the troop recommendations made by our commanders on the ground and fear his decision is leading us down a road we don’t want to be on.  Risking more lives is not a decision any General takes lightly, and we should not be cutting corners when it comes to something as serious as defeating terrorists and protecting our troops as they carry out dangerous missions. 

As much as we all want this war to be over, we cannot and should not be setting timelines to withdraw troops.  This isn’t a Monday Night Football game where at some point the clock runs out and the game is over.  We shouldn’t be motivating the terrorists to wait out the Washington clock or telling them our game plan.  It’s not in our best interest and it’s not in our military’s best interest.  We need to defeat our enemy.  And we need our Afghan allies committed to standing with us, not wavering in their support, knowing we are the present, but the Taliban is their future. 

Thanks to one of my Wisconsin colleagues, there has also been a lot of talk about placing additional taxes on the American people to pay for this war.  I have never voted for a tax increase and I will not support one now.  Democrats have already added new tax after new tax to the hundreds of trillions of dollars they have proposed for social programs, and it’s only gotten us double-digit unemployment numbers.  Our troops need our full support.  This tax talk is a diversion by the Democrats to distract the public from their poor policies and leadership.  Our military should not need to count on a new tax before they can do what is right.



f t # e