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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dent Supports Afghanistan Surge, Questions Withdrawal Timetable

Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent has released the following statement in reaction to President Barack Obama's proposal to bolster troop presence in Afghanistan:

“I support the President’s decision to increase our force presence in Afghanistan to resist the resurgent Taliban and al Qaeda forces in that country and along the Pakistani border. President Obama has referred to the war in Afghanistan as a ‘war of necessity,’ and I agree.

“However, the President’s address Tuesday night raised many questions – including whether 30,000 troops are adequate to the mission. I am also concerned that we would set a withdrawal timetable before we know specific strategic goals have been achieved.

“I look forward to hearing the testimony of Secretary of State Clinton, Defense Secretary Gates, General McChrystal and other policy experts to help address the questions and concerns of Members of Congress and the American people.”

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

the comments from dent were almost word for word of those that mcclaion said this morning on the today show. must of got the same talking points from leadership...........oh thats right dent is an independant thinker...yea, right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I'm not bothered that like-minded people might reach the same conclusion. Congressman Dent is out front, telling his constituents what he thinks. He supports the President's decision, but questions the need for a public timetable, which is obviously an invitation to all kinds of mischief.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I might add that if Team Callahan comes out of hiding and wants tp say something, I'll be happy to post it.

Anonymous said...

Right out of the Republican playbook..What a shock!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't like Dent. But he's right here. If his view is the same as McCain's, good for both of them.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I think the lack of posts on this subjects reflects the real angst and uncertainty amongst liberals on the war in Afghanistan. They know the candidate they campaigned for was all for it during the campaign but now they and Obama have buyer’s remorse.
The commitment to win the war was in the end just words, just politics.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Excellent point by Scott Armstrong. It's so hard to stay enthused when Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore diss the One.

Anonymous said...

Chris Matthews is still feeling piss down his leg for Obama. He called West Pointers "the enemy" last night. Still willing to insult warriors on the Dear One's behalf. This is the ilk of those running the country.

Anonymous said...

I believe it when Charlie calls for war rationing, American Industry being converted to the war effort, and he encourages his children and family to enlist instead of college.

I can tell when there is an actual threat to this country based on how the elites are behaving. The World War II elites sent their kids into combat with the rank and file, because they were afraid of the threat, Right now, I don't see our elites doing that unless they are elites from traditional military families. A Kennedy died on a bombing run and a Roosevelt died on the beaches of Normandy. Prescott's son George was shot down in the Pacific to survive, but came close to an early death.

Right now there is a lot of big money sitting on the sidelines, T-bills went negative 2 weeks ago, and Gold is trading pretty high. The elites are afraid of the economy, no Al Quaeda.

Anonymous said...

Flip ... Flop ... Flip ...

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Dent giving the Party Line word for word. I agree with the President but as a Republican Partisan I am ordered to take a parting shot.

Again, unless Dent wants to step down only his opinion is relevant. At this stage the old Callahan duck and weave is just your wet dream Ohare, otherwise it is meaningless as his opinion is worth no more than your worthless opinion.

Good to see Scott sticking to his partisan roots.

Lseter

Anonymous said...

Lseter,

The truth isn’t partisan here, it is what it is. Deny it all you want, that won’t change the facts on the ground. On NPR today they interviewed a Pakistani journalist. He said all they heard in the speech was “out in two years”. That is also how Obama’s speech is being taken by our enemies, they already think they have won.
Spin that all you want.

Scott Armstrong

LVCI said...

There is no definitive lock on the timeline. The timeline flexes somewhat contingent upon Afghan's ability to raise their own troop levels to 150,000. So even if the clock runs out it is anticipated that we will have trained and armed their own military by then to enable them to survive. That would have had to occur with or w/o a timeline.

I hope the bad guys do "sit back and relax till 2011" and lull themselves into a false sense of confidence. That would make it nice and easy for us to prepare those 150,000 Afghan troops to greet them when come out to play in two years.

There comes a time when a nation must be able to stand on it's own. We've given them a goal in the form of a timeline in order for them to realize what they need to do over the next two years. It serves further to send a message that Americans will not spend billion$ and continue shedding blood forever if they chose to do little to help themselves.

This is pretty much consistent with what this President said he'd do last July 15th.

Anonymous said...

Nice spin but your words are just words. Meanwhile our enemies know better.


Scott Armstrong

LVCI said...

Scott it sure beats the hell out of abandoning Afghanistan like the last 6 years to go fight elsewhere. At least this President is committing 30,000 more troops to the cause then Bush had when he left office.

You may not like it. But it is a plan.

Other then an open ended never ending timeline, just what was Bush's plan? It certainly wasn't one with a troop surge in it.

So here's what the enemy already knows. 30,000 more soldiers are coming. In two years or so the Afghans may have 150,000 soldiers of their own. Obama as you can see has no problem with the military sending drones over the border into Pakistan.

Exactly what is it that "our enemies know better"?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I applaud Obama's decision to send a surge and hope that he is flexible about that w/drawl timeline because i doubt the Afghan government can make it. Leaving that area creates a power vacuum that will be quickly filled by India, exacerbating nuclear tensions in the region.

lighthouse said...

What exactly is "better known" by "our enemies" than what wasn't already learned in 10 years of Soviet troops and 8 years of American troops? The two most powerful Super Powers...they learned if you keep fighting and dieing, no matter how much force the major powers throw at you, they get tired and go home. And India is going to fill a vacuum that the Soviets and Americans couldn't fill? India?

The Bush administration failed to get Bin Laden in Bora Bora when we could have. Instead, we started a war in a Iraq for what was it, the never found WMDs (??), and pushed Afghanistan to the back burner. So now, Aghanistan is suddenly important again. However, to just point out the missing about the additional troops, that Obama had already increased the number of troops by 30+ thousand troops already this year. Last night's message is on top of that.

To change direction, total cost since 2001 for the Afghan and Iraq Wars is over 938 billion dollars. Divide by the population of 300 million, and we have spent (borrowed) $3,126.66 for every man, woman, and child in the US. Multiply by an average household of 3 equals over $9,000. Going into our ninth year, so I kind of agree with a poster on the related blog entry, and have a war tax of a $1,000 per household. If Americans want the wars, maybe Americans should pay for them. Its been easy for most Americans who are largely apathetic toward politics to be oblivious when its on the other side of the planet, we don't "pay" for it like the old war bonds, and we don't have the draft. Sadly, it is easy to not even know we are fighting if you didn't want to know...easy to let someone else's son die while we go shopping for Christmas.

Soviets? Americans? India??

Anonymous said...

LVIC,

It is rather dull to respond to the days talking points. Why not think critically about what the media reports and see for yourself the flaws and outright distortions in their reporting. Then you would have some real insights.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Bernie,


If we leave Afghanistan any time soon the vacuum will be filled by extremists who will turn that land back into a terrorist state and America will be right back where it was on September 10th 2001.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Every day 6 veterans die because they don't have health insurance, Charlie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, Fleck, you better make sure you elect Callahan, who has yet to state where he stands on anything.

Anonymous said...

"I can tell when there is an actual threat to this country based on how the elites are behaving."

The Vice-President's son was sent overseas to the war. Hopefully, we still won't be in a war when Obama daughters are old enough.

Anonymous said...

"I am also concerned that we would set a withdrawal timetable before we know specific strategic goals have been achieved."

And I also hope that we have the wisdom to know when the specific strategic goals aren't achievable in Afghanistan because of corruption and apathy of their own citizens. You can't help those that don't want our help. This is a civil war that has lasted centuries. When are we going to wake up to reality? There aren't any strategic goals in Afghanistan. Only tactical, and they are short lived. Without the UN troops in Pakistan, hunting Al-Quada, this isn't the hunt for terrorist, WHICH IS OUR STRATEGIC GOAL.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Our strategic goal, of necessity, is stability. We can't afford to make the area more unstable than it was when we decided to stick our nose there. That's a real problem. If we were to depart suddenly, and before Afghan troops were able to supply some small measure of security, we create a power vacuum in a region already fraught with instability. It is very likely that would be filled by India. Since both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers, this would be a recipe for disaster.

I view this timetable remark as something Obama had to say to mollify war weary Americans.

Should we have been there in the first place? Should we have diverted the troops from there to Iraq? Should we have invaded Iraq? The sad reality is that, rightly or wrongly, we are there and our mere presence changed the dynamics in the entore region.

The pottery barn rule, first mentioned by general Powell, is in effect. We're stuck there.

Anonymous said...

We do have responsibilities, I agree, but I disagree about being "stuck" there. Our nation has a choice. Afghanistan has a choice. Either move forward towards stability or we should withdraw. Is our goal to set up a democratically elected government in Afghanistan? Is our goal a stable government in Afghanistan that is so corruptable, it is beyond repair? Or is our goal Al-Qaida? These are rhetorical questions, because our stategies have become convaluted. We lost sight of Bin Laden and made excuses. Unless Pakistan invites us in over the border, we are spinning our wheels. Then we need to have a definitive timetable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You're not asking the right question. Our goal there, of necessity, is stability. Leaving suddenly could resulty in a collapse and create a problem far worse than bin Laden.

Anonymous said...

"Every day 6 veterans die because they don't have health insurance, Charlie."

Don't understand post.

If Veterans -- wouldn't they be covered by VA?

If yes then VA = Government run healthcare.

If dying while covered by Government run health then = Government run healthcare bad.

Point is either based on flawed premise or faulty logic.

Reboot.

Anonymous said...

"You're not asking the right question. Our goal there, of necessity, is stability."

That's my argument and where I respectfully disagree. Afghanistan, historically, can never be stable. The sooner we realize that, we can then refocus our resources into what got us there in the first place. Al-Quida needs to be destroyed. Stability will never be realized in Afghanistan because of age old tribal warfare. It's a misnomer that we are just fighting Al-Quida and the Taliban. There are hundreds of tribal units that fight American GIs simply because they don't want them in their country (or more specifically, in their valley or poppy field). Stability will never come BO. Stability has never been there for thousand years. I believe you and Dent need to rethink and re-read history in order proffer an exit strategy that conforms to a historical perspective. After eight years, a country has enough time to figure out it's own destiny. Withdraw should now be based upon our needs, not theirs.

Anonymous said...

"Enemy camp"

The Commander-In-Chief at the US Military Academy?

Liberal mentality in all its glory!!!

Yea Obama!

Time to put the crack pipe down and start looking in the mirror, Obamabots.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Afganistan has been repeatedly invaded, but it is a stretch to say it has been at constant war for 1000 years. It was at one time the center of the Mongol empire. It has an important geostrategic location between west Asia and the Middle East.

Now what do you think happens if we suddenly leave? Yeah, they will continue to fight among themselves. But we will also be leaving a major vacuum for another country to step in, and could very easily become a nuclear playground between India and Pakistan.

lighthouse said...

yikes...to correct myself, I meant Tora Bora, not Bora Bora in my earlier comment....wish I were on the beach in the later right now.

Anonymous said...

Dent's a Congress seatwarmer who doesn't want his family to have to suffer under private health insurance. As long as the federal govt. has public option insurance he'll fight tooth and nail for his do nothing seat.