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Rubio, in Afghanistan: ‘We’ve got a lot to do’

by Dara Kam | January 17th, 2011

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and a handful of other Senators are winding up a four-day in Afghanistan and Pakistan where they met with military officials from both countries and dined with Afghan President Hamid Karzai last night.

From Kabul this morning, the freshman from Florida told reporters he was encouraged by what he saw but cautioned that “2011 is going to be a very crucial year for our efforts here.”

Rubio joined Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, on the trip where they met with Gen. David Petraeus and also watched Afghan National Army training exercises.

Rubio said the Afghan people and government need assurances from the U.S. that “we are in it for the long haul” and discouraged setting numbers for U.S. troop withdrawal from the region.

“People want to make sure that we are in this to win this. We are in this for the long haul,” Rubio said. “Everyone on the ground is really enthusiastic about the progress that’s being made…There’s a long ways to go. There’s no way to overestimate how serious the challenge is but we are headed in the right direction.”

Benchmarks for U.S. withdrawal from the region should not focus on the number of troops returning but the number of areas that successfully transition to a functioning government, Rubio said.

“From everything I’ve seen here we are making physical progress,” he said, adding, “You can’t overestimate what a difficult challenge it is.”

Afghanis need assurances that the U.S. will remain because they are afraid that “the bad guys” will resume control of the region, Rubio emphasized.

“They’re afraid to vote. Theyr’e afraid to take jobs and work for the government or volunteer for the military…because …these bad guys are going to come back in and take over again,” he said. “You are really creating a diff situation because people think the bad guys, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, all they have to do is wait.”

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8 Responses to “Rubio, in Afghanistan: ‘We’ve got a lot to do’”

  1. Understand your position Says:

    Mr. Rubio, my friend Floyd Holley was killed in the region you’re in not long ago. Floyd was a true leader even when we we’re kids. His troops have given me first hand account that painted a little different picture then you’ve painted here.

    Much of the problem is failed military commanders making false promises they can’t keep to the public, here and their. The biggest example locally being Allen West, that many South Florida Native Soldiers feel actions directly resulted in more soldiers deaths.

    It creates another cycle in itself playing out creating additional hate against our troops their.

    Support is required, yes, since 2001 many chances have been had to improve things their. Failed Leaders since 2001 are why we have additional problems today.

    It is not our place to take over this country for 20 years. We have 10 years of failed policy that’s drain our tax dollars so far. Anymore not producing notable change, that can’t be justified reasonably, can not continue to have funds put toward it while our homeland is in the financial condition it is.

    To think otherwise means you truly don’t understand the problems of today.

  2. BustedUpGrunt Says:

    Rubio says “…we are in this to WIN this…..we are making physical PROGRESS,”
    Well excuse me sir, but can you define what WINNING looks like in Afghanistan?
    Can you give us one example of what PROGRESS is in Afghanistan?
    What does an American VICTORY there look like?
    What is the American GOAL there?

    Rubio….another rookie, amateur strategist…hasn’t seen the ball since kickoff….a parrott mindlessly repeating what he’s been told to say….while our best and brightest continue to bleed and die…wastefully.
    Check your hands sir, you’re getting blood on them.

  3. Native Says:

    Did’t take long for him to fall into the click!! They all make me sick!! They only care about thier on agenda!!!

  4. Unreal Says:

    A reporter stopped me outside the election place on November 2 and asked me if we can win in Afghanistan.
    Of course we can’t. They are fighting for a religious ideology that isn’t going to change. You can’t even win by attrition if you bombed all of Afghanistan and Pakistan. That would create more hatred by young islamists and their leaders.
    The only way to help ‘win’ would be to support mining of the $12 trillion in minerals they have discovered there. China and Russia are already vying for those rights, but they will take advantage of the situation. Not that the US won’t but if they can create Afghani jobs and industry the likelihood of angst diminishes.
    In Iraq the rebuilding strategy has created a more stable country. Let the youth of the country have something to live for, and they will be less angry and prone to follow the radical islamists.

  5. skeptic Says:

    how would he know, his generation of Cubans did not bother to serve in the US military

  6. Kevin Says:

    There is nothing to “win” in Afghanistan. As far as capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden, George Bush eliminated that possibility in Torah Bora by surrounding it on 3 out of 4 sides then letting him escape through the mountains into Pakistan. All this because he couldn’t kill the boogey man before convincing us we needed to attack Iraq. A time line for a sooner rather than later withdraw is what’s necessary if we are to get our own economy back on track. Let them fall back into a stone age economy and do nothing but pray all day. All the money going from our tax dollars into that corrupt government’s coffers are going to come back at us in a bad way at some point n the future. I say lets blow up all the airports and leave right now.

  7. justadad Says:

    To, busted up grunt: I hope you are not entirely right. I thank you for your service and live in fear that my son will be sacrificed for a country (USA) that has little concern about the service men and women there unless they happen to be related. Do you see any chance that we can prop up the local defense forces to a level necessary to survive? My boy says that the Afgan National Army troops are OK to have around because they carry so much armament. Do those guys have a chance without us?

  8. Mark Says:

    Even if we are there forever …..which we cant do with these lives we will never win.

    To win implies someone looses. If we loose the hundred of thousands of lives with no re-assurance that the Taliban will not rise up again…there is no win just a loss of a generation.

    One my friend that is not much younger than you Senator Rubio. So I ask you to look back with the Republicans and the foolish Democrats & understand this is not about win or loose….its about maintaining.

    We can’t maintain

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