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December 3rd, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Lawmakers question 2011 Afghan exit plan

Washington (CNN) - Conservative and liberal lawmakers Wednesday sharply criticized President Obama's plan to start a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011.

Most Republicans backed the president's decision to send more troops. They claimed, however, he was playing politics by setting an "arbitrary" withdrawal deadline while insisting that any transfer of responsibility to the Afghan government ultimately will be based on conditions in that country.

They also argued he inadvertently strengthened the hand of Taliban and al Qaeda extremists by allowing them to know when a U.S. departure from the war-torn country would begin.

Several members of the Democratic caucus, on the other hand, expressed unease with the president's decision to send thousands of additional troops over the next several months. They questioned whether the war is winnable.

Obama's blueprint faced questions Wednesday as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared before two key committees.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Mitchell

    Cut and run....what is in question?

    December 4, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  2. Stephanie

    Why can't we just do it the old fashion way and smoke out Osama Bin Ladin with snipers that will track him down instead of sending in more troops and more costs to out country. Smoke him out Obama using snipers and teams of highly trained troops, not by sending more war troops. Get down to the nitty gritty and send in the snipers to search for him. Financially it makes more sense.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  3. Old Ben

    We need to send in the troops and create a quasi military law environment in Kabul and Kandahar. We need to strongarm Karshi and not play any of the bribery scandelous games that he is used to. That's what we NEED to do; but what we will do is NONE OF THE ABOVE. So, our troops will stay in country for 18 months just trying to survive, then most will be send home, or somewhere else, with the situation not showing much change.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  4. ken, nj

    The exit plan from afghanistan is just a ploy to get support from the naive progessive dems. Admiral mullen said today that "the 2011 exit date is just a target date and the troop withdrwal wil depend on conditions on the ground" This is iraq bush speak all over again. Secy of defense gates also said yesterday that "the taliban are not a major threat to the u.s" Obama and the dems are finished politically. Jobs are what people want not another trillion dollars spent on afghanistan. The taliban did not attack us, and they are not a threat to our safety. 100,00 soldiers and 100,000 contractors killing the taliban wil not make us any safer but it will bankrupt the u.s. Obama will be giving us a bloody merry christmas.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  5. Gary Peeler

    The President or government needs to give each small business a credit line of $100k to $200K directly and byoass the big banks just like he is doing with money going to Afganista. Bypass the part of the system that is sticking the cash in their own pockets. As a small business owner a line of credit would allow me to hire 3 more people. To qualify the business size, small business must have current employees of 15 or less people. i have been in business since 1983 and we need help.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:25 am |