Specter: ‘I am not persuaded’ to back Afghan escalation
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who defected to the Democratic Party earlier this year, released a statement Tuesday night opposing a troop increase in Afghanistan — in contrast to his former Republican allies, who embrace a surge.
Here is the full text of Specter’s statement via Talking Points Memo.
“I oppose sending 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan because I am not persuaded that it is indispensable in our fight against Al Qaeda. If it was, I would support an increase because we have to do whatever it takes to defeat Al Qaeda since they’re out to annihilate us. But if Al Qaeda can operate out of Yemen or Somalia, why fight in Afghanistan where no one has succeeded?
“I disagree with the President’s two key assumptions: that we can transfer responsibility to Afghanistan after 18 months and that our NATO allies will make a significant contribution. It is unrealistic to expect the United States to be out in 18 months so there is really no exit strategy. This venture is not worth so many American lives or the billions it will add to our deficit.”