Calls for a New Approach in Afghanistan: Links and Quotes from Leaders

Sep 15, 2009

A compilation of articles from members of Congress and other distinguished individuals in the U.S. calling for new approaches to the war in Afghanistan, such as formulating an exit strategy and/or denouncing troop and spending increases.

  • "I don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in the Congress." said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA), Speaker of the House in a press conference held on September 10, 2009

  • "Time to Get Out of Afghanistan," an op-ed by George Will, September 1, 2009

  • "I believe the mission should be time limited, that there should be no, well, we'll let you know in a year and a half, depending on how we do," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee told the CNN program "the State of the Union" on September 13, 2009.

    Sen. Susan Collins (ME) told the same program, "I will tell you, having spent two days there just last month, that I just don't know that more troops is the answer. We clearly need more American civilians to help build up institutions. We need to grow the size of the Afghan army, but we're dealing with widespread corruption, a very difficult terrain, and I'm just wondering where this ends and how we'll know when we've succeeded." Both senators are quoted in a Politico blog article.

  • "The Limits of Force," an op-ed by Chuck Hagel, former senator from Nebraska, September 3, 2009

  • "The group [of former intelligence officials]’s concern — dead right, in my view — is that sending more American troops into ethnic Pashtun areas in the Afghan south may only galvanize local people to back the Taliban in repelling the infidels" wrote Nicholas Kristof in his op-ed "The Afghanistan Abyss," September 5, 2009

  • "The Exit Strategy We Need at Home,"Huffington Post blog by Lorelei Kelly, director of New Strategic Security Initiative, September 1, 2009

  • "Surge the Afghan Army," Senate floor speech by Sen. Carl Levin (MI), who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 11, 2009

  • "In Vietnam it took 500,000 troops and that didn't solve the problem. So we have to take a different approach," said Rep. John Murtha (PA) in an interview with Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy, "Murtha to Obama: No More Troops," September 14, 2009

  • "Instead of increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, we should start talking about a flexible timetable to begin drawing those levels down. It is time to ask the hard questions-and accept the candid answers-about how our military presence in Afghanistan may be undermining our national security," said Sen. Russ Feingold (WI), in his op-ed article "The Road Home from Afghanistan," August 28, 2009
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