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Merkley Statement on President Obama's Address on Afghanistan

December 1, 2009


Washington, DC
– Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement of more troops for Afghanistan:

“I appreciate that President Obama has taken the time to fully examine this issue and consider the available options.  However, I’m not convinced the case has been made to add more than 30,000 new troops. Significant questions remain about our strategic goals in Afghanistan and the human and financial costs involved in achieving them.

 

“I have a number of questions about whether the Administration’s goal in Afghanistan is realistic, and how that goal advances our national security.  How will our strategy overcome Afghanistan’s history of decentralized power exercised by regional warlords, its systemic corruption, the insurgents’ ability to use the presence of a foreign force as a rallying point, the geography and topography of the country, and the Taliban’s easy access to explosives and funding?  Does this strategy reduce or increase the number of extremists motivated to strike at our nation?  What will prevent al Qaeda from finding other safe havens in other places from which to plot attacks against the U.S.?  Are there other approaches that can meet our national security objectives? 

 

“I look forward to discussing these questions with the Administration and learning not only the full details of their plan, but also reviewing how the sacrifice in lives and resources serves our national interest.”

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