What they’re saying about Obama’s Afghanistan speech….by George Bennett | December 1st, 2009
The president delivered a prime-time speech from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Some Florida reactions after the jump…..
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: “ I think the president has a sensible plan, both short- and- long term, to empower the Afghan people and allow for U.S. troops to complete their mission and come home,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat and member of two key Senate Committees overseeing the war effort, Intelligence and Armed Services. “The plan will allow 50,000 additional Afghan troops to be trained by next July so they can hold areas that are turned over to them. And our overall mission remains the same: wiping out Al Qaeda and diminishing its supporters, like, Taliban insurgents, while keeping up the pressure in the Pakistan border region. ”Republican U.S. Sen. George LeMieux: “I am both encouraged and concerned by the President’s remarks on the way forward in Afghanistan. I commend the President for making this difficult decision to increase our troop commitment in Afghanistan. Additional troops are needed to build security and prevent the Taliban and al Qaeda from again using Afghanistan as a base for Terrorism. However, success cannot be measured by a timetable for withdrawal, but rather must be judged by demonstrated accomplishments in the field. Setting a date certain for withdrawal only gives our enemies hope to hold out one day longer than our troops are on the ground.
“We all want our troops home as soon as possible, but if our goal is to leave Afghanistan as a stable partner in the war on terror, our goal must first be on accomplishing the mission. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I look forward to reviewing the details of the President’s plan to determine if it is the best approach for our nation and our security.”U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami; Senate candidate: “President Obama’s strategic review and subsequent policy decision on Afghanistan puts us on a course for success that we lacked for many years. The decision to wage a second war in Iraq prevented the completion of the mission in Afghanistan. As a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly who has traveled to Afghanistan, I know that our mission will be completed with the help of our allies who are also shouldering the heavy burdens of war alongside our military, and these sacrifices and dangers are shared between all of our citizens. Our success will be realized when terrorists and their accomplices no longer view Afghanistan as a safe haven to plot murderous attacks on innocent civilians.”