Harkin Statement on the President’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Plan Print
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Written by Harkin Press Office   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 12:48

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) tonight issued the following statement after President Obama’s primetime address on his proposal to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.  

“The men and women serving in our armed forces have more than succeeded in accomplishing the mission we asked them to do. They have served honorably and heroically and they should be commended. But, we must remember that we were in Afghanistan to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, to take down the main base of al Qaeda and to remove the Taliban from power.  Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda’s true base of power is now decentralized and in areas like Yemen, Somalia and North Africa; and the Taliban is no longer in charge of Afghanistan.   

“We cannot justify the continued loss of life when we have already lost thousands of men and women in our military, including 71 Iowans since 9/11; we also can’t sustain the nearly $10 billion we are spending each month in Afghanistan this year.

“The President is taking the right action in redeploying troops from Afghanistan, but as I and several other senators urged him earlier this month, there should be more troops coming home sooner.”

Last week, Harkin joined a bipartisan group of 27 senators in sending a letter to President Obama calling for a shift in strategy in Afghanistan, urging the President to use next month’s deadline as an opportunity to begin a “sizable and sustained” drawdown of troops that puts the U.S. on a path toward removing all regular combat troops from the country.

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