Entries in Jeff Merkley (1)


Senators Call for Complete US Afghan Withdrawal by End of 2012

U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(WASHINGTON) -- While some D.C. lawmakers are against President Obama's decision to withdraw as many as 33,000 soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of next summer, three U.S. Senators say that all 100,000 American troops should be pulled out as of January 2013.

This accelerated timetable was proposed by Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley in a New York Times op-ed piece.

"America would be more secure and stronger economically if we recognized that we have largely achieved our objectives in Afghanistan and moved aggressively to bring our troops and tax dollars home," they wrote.

The Senators pointed to the $10 billion spent monthly to fight the war in Afghanistan, which comes at the expense of economic problems at home that include "high unemployment and a flood of foreclosures, a record deficit and a debt that is over $14 trillion and growing."

Despite their concerns, and those of Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who oppose a quick withdrawal, the White House remains committed to gradually drawing down forces so that the Afghan army and police can assume total responsibility for security by the end of 2014.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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