As the only U.S. Senator to vote against sending more troops to Afghanistan, Russ Feingold is standing firm. The Wisconsin Democrat was one of the early voices in Washington to criticize the idea, and he continues to support a targeted approach to tackling terror.
“What we want to do, according to the president and everybody else is go after Al Quada,” Feingold told WIBA Thursday. “So recently what we did is, we figured out for example in Somalia where one of these Al Quada guys was, and we dropped a 500 bomb on him. On him, not on the entire populace, not on the entire country we didn’t send in 50,000 troops.”
The top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan has been calling for more troops since August. A request that Feingold is hoping the President does not honor. “I think that the president is making a mistake by going along with military advisors, thinking that a huge military buildup in Afghanistan will make us safer,” said Feingold. “I don’t agree.” Roughly 60,000 service men and women are serving in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal says 45-thousand more are needed to defeat Taliban and stabilize the country.
“We’re not invading the Philippines, we’re not invading Indonesia, we’re not invading Yeman, but we’re still having some success going after Al Quada, in fact more success under President Obama than under President Bush,” Feingold said. “There’s more specific focus on the real enemy here.” Now, it appears the president and fellow Democrats have joined Feingold in reexamining a proposed Afghan surge.
“I think I was able to jumpstart a national debate that is now the central issue in foreign policy, and that is, whether it’s a good idea to put 40,000 more troops in there,” said Feingold. “We only had 30,000 in there at the end of last year, now we have 60,000, and now they’re talking about taking us to over 100,000 in a situation that I don’t think really calls for a lot more troops. I don’t think that’s the way to go.”