April 23, 2014

Dems bash Obama’s troop plan, GOP backs it

President Obama is facing opposition to his Afghanistan plan by members of his own party in Wisconsin. US Senator Russ Feingold called the plan to send 30,000 additional troops “a mistake.”
Sen. Feingold (:09)
The Wisconsin Democrat said sending more servicemen and women could further destabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan, which would make it more difficult to defeat Taliban insurgents and to combat al-Qaida. Feingold told reporters he’ll try to block funding for the troop increase.

Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Madison may have supported military action into Afghanistan in 9-11, but now wants to bring the troops home, “I believe our current actions in Afghanistan and President Obama’s proposal for moving forward bear little resemblance to that original, narrowly-focused mission,” she said in a press release Tuesday.

Wisconsin’s other senator, Democrat Herb Kohl, said the US cannot walk away from Afghanistan now and lawmakers should give Obama’s strategy a chance to work.

Meanwhile Republicans in Wisconsin are on board with increasing deployment to the region. Wisconsin GOP Executive Director Mark Jefferson called Obama’s plan for troop escalation the “right conclusion.” He told WRN Tuesday, “I think Republicans in general are supportive of a strong presence in Afghanistan.”

Three months ago the region’s top US commander recommended 40,000 additional boots on the ground while Obama announced only last week of a clear strategy. Jefferson said the lengthy decision process probably caused waning public support for the war.

Mark Jefferson (:17)

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Obama told West Point cadets Tuesday night America’s security is at stake and he promised Americans who are tired of the war that he’ll start bringing units home in 18 months.

The President’s time table has caused a stir among some Republican lawmakers who support boosting troop levels. House member Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomenee Falls said in press release, “We should also not be setting timelines to withdraw troops, as this only motivates the terrorists to wait out Washington.”

The timeline has the endorsement of Democratic Congressman Steve Kagen of Appleton. However the long time critic of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan found little else to support in Obama’s approach.

Cong. Kagen (:17)

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The President, in his address, said the effort to send more troops is necessary to deny al-Qaida a safe haven, and to reduce momentum by the Taliban.