WAMU 88.5 : News

Obama's Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan Faces Local Skepticism

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U.S. Army private first class is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan on June 17.
DOD, http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/5857537134
U.S. Army private first class is evacuated after being injured by a roadside bomb in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan on June 17.

Democrats are doubling-down on their desire to get economically stimulative bills back on the negotiating table in Congress. But with Republicans eager to slash the nation's soaring debt, there isn't much loose change around. That's why Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) says he wants the president to bring troops home faster. He says those savings could also go to security-related international development.

“We don't have the money to do that. We've got to get the money from the military in Afghanistan. We can not only help bring down the deficit, but we can use it to increase other tools for other national security reasons," he says.

Many Republican lawmakers are dubious of the proposal for other reasons. Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith says he trusts the president and his military advisors, though he's worried security risks might accompany a troop drawdown.

"It's of great concern to me that we don't abandon what we've accomplished and find ourselves in the same mess in another 10 or 20 years...if someone bad comes in and takes over the government of Afghanistan," Griffith says.

The region's lawmakers seem to agree they'd like to see the administration better define its end goal in Afghanistan.

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