Republicans to target Afghan withdrawal timetable
WASHINGTON — Fresh from their historic elections romp, US Republicans served notice Wednesday that they would target President Barack Obama’s July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan.
Republicans, who retook the House of Representatives on Tuesday and sliced deep into the Democrats’ Senate majority, have long criticized Obama’s timeline as encouraging Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters simply to wait out US forces.
Republican Representative Buck McKeon, who was all but certain to be the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, signaled that the party would ensure that US forces have the “time” to achieve their goals.
Republicans will ensure that “our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world have the equipment, resources, authorities, training, and time they need to successfully complete their missions and return home,” his office said in a statement.
“America remains a nation at war. More than 150,000 of our sons and daughters are deployed around the globe in the fight against Al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies,” said McKeon.
The committee’s “top priority,” he added, “will be to work in a bipartisan manner to provide those brave warfighters the resources and support they need to succeed in their missions and return home safely.”