WAND/WiLL Women Respond to Pres. Obama’s Drawdown Plans
6/27/11- We have compiled a growing list of our WAND/WiLL women's responses to President Obama's June 22 speech on the plan to draw-down troops in Afghanistan.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) –
“I am glad this war is ending, but it’s ending at far too slow a pace. We need a swifter turnover of responsibility to the nearly 300,000 Afghan forces we have trained, which would allow our brave military men and women to come home sooner.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) –
“Tonight President Obama took a step in the right direction by outlining a drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan over the coming year. I have called for a sizeable and sustainable drawdown because I believe the human, economic and military resources we are spending in Afghanistan are unsustainable. The President’s announcement is a step forward, but I will continue to push the President to bring this war to a close and redeploy troops out of Afghanistan while providing the support they and their families deserve.
“Our terrorist enemies are not bound by lines on a map. Leaving tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan is not the best use of our resources—especially as we work to tackle our debt and deficit. It’s time to redeploy, rebuild our military and refocus on the broader war on terror. I was glad to see President Obama take a step in that direction today.”
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) –
“Tonight’s announcement is a profound disappointment. The hope was that the President would offer an Afghanistan troop drawdown that is significant, swift and sizeable. His proposal fails on all three counts.”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA –Democratic Leader) –
“It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out – and we will continue to press for a better outcome. Concluding this war will enable us to reduce the deficit and focus fuller attention on the priorities of the American people: creating jobs and investing in our nation’s future by building a strong, thriving economy for our children.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) –
“A troop reduction of 10,000 by the end of this year is anything but significant, as it does not even get us back to pre-escalation levels. A more significant and reasonable goal would have been the swift withdrawal of 50,000 combat troops, half of the roughly 100,000 U.S. troops currently on the ground. Waiting until the fall of 2012 to remove only 33,000 troops, which simply reverses the 2009 troop escalation and takes us back to square one, flies in the face of the growing bipartisan calls across our war-weary nation to exit Afghanistan and refocus on our domestic challenges and job creation.”
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) –
"Osama Bin Laden's death marked a new chapter for America's mission in Afghanistan and it's time we begin bringing our troops back home. I support the President's decision to begin this withdrawal and recognize that it must be done in a manner that keeps our forces safe, but I also hope that conditions on the ground will allow us to transfer additional military responsibility to the Afghan people at an accelerated pace. Such a move would enhance our ability to expedite the return home for even more of our brave men and women in uniform now serving in Afghanistan."
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY)-
“I applaud President Barack Obama for taking the first steps in beginning the drawdown of troops as we bring a responsible end to the war in Afghanistan. It is clear that many in this nation, including those in my district, were hoping for a fuller and more robust withdrawal of U.S. forces much sooner than what President Obama presented last night. With a war-weary nation who has invested ten years in this engagement, it is clear that we need to focus on the rebuilding our nation at home.
“As a Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, I understand the complex relationship between Afghanistan’s stability and our counterterrorism strategies. However, with the U.S. spending more than 100 billion dollars annually in this war and countless lives lost both civilian and from our armed forces, now is the time for the Afghanistan forces to take full responsibility for securing their nation.”
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) -
"Tonight the nation heard what we've been wanting to hear for a long time, that after some successes in fighting terrorism in and around Afghanistan we'll finally be bringing some of our troops home. This is a good start. I just pray for the day when we can bring even more of our men and women out of harm's way while at the same time making sure that terrorists, hell-bent on hurting Americans, don't take hold in the region again."
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) –
“President Obama should immediately withdraw at least 30,000 troops—the amount equivalent to the 2009 surge. The remainder should come home by the end of next year. It is time to shift to a counterterrorism mission—it was 79 Navy Seals that killed Osama Bin Laden, not 100,000 troops. We must start spending taxpayer dollars creating jobs and building roads in America, not Afghanistan.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) –
“I urge the President to build upon tonight’s announcement and bring home greater numbers of U.S. troops as part of an overall exit strategy from Afghanistan. We should instead invest in diplomatic and economic engagement with the Afghan people.”
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) –
“I am firmly convinced, especially with the death of Osama bin Laden and the resulting damage to al Qaeda leadership, it is time to significantly redeploy troops out of Afghanistan, and start to bring the longest running war in American history to a close. It is critical that Afghanistan’s government acts as a partner in the progress we have made, ensuring that what we have achieved is not lost. But I believe that the costs at a time when we should be focused on rebuilding our economy here at home are too high. It is time to bring our troops home.”
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)–
“I commend President Obama for honoring his commitment to begin troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, but I urge him to provide his long-term strategy for total withdrawal as soon as possible. U.S. forces’ elimination of Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda leadership – and the subsequent weakening of their organization in Afghanistan – underscore how our mission in that country has shifted and how the time has come to bring our troops home.”
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) –
“This troop withdrawal means we can finally begin welcoming our soldiers home to their families. We must be ready to support our fighting men and women and ensure they have the services, job training, and medical care they need to return to civilian life. It is critical for our economy and our country that we continue to bring our troops home. The funds being sent abroad are needed here in the U.S. to invest in job creation and pay down the debt.”
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) –
“I believe we need a sizeable, swift, and responsible reduction of troop levels to reunite our military families, refocus our priorities, and reinvest in jobs, education, and health care here at home. I applaud President Obama for fulfilling his promise of beginning a drawdown of troops this year. I only wish we could accelerate the process.”
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)-
“I support the President’s decision to transition Afghan security responsibility to the Afghan people through a clear strategy for reduction in U.S. troops over the next year and a half. As our troops come home, the Afghan security forces will assume responsibility for their nation. I commend President Obama for the planned, deliberate, and timely withdrawal of U.S. troops.”
Rep Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) –
“Our troops must be brought home safely and soon from Afghanistan and Iraq. For a decade now, U.S. troops have been fighting in Afghanistan, in a war that no longer has a clear mission, with no end in sight. We have spent nearly a trillion dollars of borrowed money and lost nearly 6,000 American lives. Thousands more servicemen and women have suffered serious, life-altering injuries.”
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) –
“I commend President Obama for his commitment to bring home 10,000 American troops by the end of 2011 and an additional 23,000 by next summer. Thanks to the brave and effective service of the men and women in our Armed Forces, the ability of extremists in Afghanistan to target Americans has been severely diminished. We must now redouble efforts to transition responsibility for providing security and basic services to Afghans themselves and remain committed to diplomacy and effective development that are critical to sustaining military gains in Afghanistan and stability in the region.”