Gillibrand Calling For U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan
Washington, DC (WIBX) - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY) is looking to provide a better national security approach when dealing with Afghanistan and terror threats from other regions. In a conference call today, Gillibrand presented her plan for U.S. Troop withdrawal, saying that this fall will mark 10 years of the war in Afghanistan. She says more than $340 billion has been spend so far to fund the war, with another $124 billion set to be approved by congress this year.
Gillibrand said, "That's hundreds of billions of American tax payer dollars spent on a strategy whose long term success is constantly undermined by a corrupt Afghanistan government, and unwilling and unreliable partner in Pakistan that harbors the Taliban and al-Qaeda commanders and insurgents whose own intelligence agencies remains ties to the Taliban."
President Obama's strategy is to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan this summer and fully withdrawing all troops by 2014. However, Gillibrand said her proposal will implement and build on the presidents plan, and is calling for the passage of the "Safe and Responsible Redeployment of U.S. Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act."
The Act calls for President Obama to submitt a plan to Congress by July 31, 2011, for the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan including a completion date. Gillibrand, the original co-sponsor of the Act, says currently there are over 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including more than 1,600 troops from New York State. She said the stretched military in Afghanistan affects America's ability to pursue al-Qaeda terror networks in other regions like Yemen.The senator added that a threat to the U.S. from Yemen, outweighs the threat from Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
The Senator also said that the billions of dollars saved from a complete U.S. troop withdrawal can be used for domestic spending instead however, she stressed that calling for a speedy troop withdrawal has no connection to the current Stop-Gap spending measure currently underway in Congress. Gillibrand added that the U.S. can continue to build on its diplomatic relationship with the Hamid Khan Karzai government, Afghanistan's 12th and current President however, she said that could be through humanitarian and special operations efforts.