Open-Ended Military Presence in Afghanistan is Counterproductive to our National Security

For Immediate Release

Senator Russ Feingold
Contact: 

Zach Lowe (202) 224-8657

Open-Ended Military Presence in Afghanistan is Counterproductive to our National Security

Feingold to Offer Afghanistan Timetable Amendment to Supplemental

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S.
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced that he intends to offer
legislation
requiring the president to develop a flexible timetable to draw down
U.S.
troops from Afghanistan as an amendment to the supplemental spending
bill,
which will soon come before the Senate.  The amendment is based on legislation
Feingold, along with U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA)
and
Walter Jones (R-NC), introduced last month to enhance our
national
security and reduce the burden on our Armed Forces and on taxpayers.  It
was recently reported that the 1,000th American service
member was
killed in connection with operations in Afghanistan. 

“A large, open-ended, expensive military presence in Afghanistan is not
the way
to defeat al Qaeda,” Feingold said.  “Rather than pouring so much of our
money and resources into one country that isn’t even al Qaeda’s base, we
should
develop a timetable to redeploy our troops from Afghanistan so we can
focus on
going after al Qaeda’s global network.” 

The amendment mirrors the Feingold-McGovern-Jones
legislation
and would require the president to provide a plan
and
timetable for drawing down our forces in Afghanistan and identify any
variables
that could require changes to that timetable.  The amendment would not
require the president to redeploy troops.  Congress has appropriated
$299.6 billion for the war in Afghanistan and related operations to date
(FY01-FY10).  This supplemental bill includes another $30 billion for
Afghanistan. 
The total cost to date of both Afghanistan and Iraq is over $1trillion.

Feingold’s
legislation is
part of his broader security strategy: pursuing al Qaeda’s global
network,
improving our intelligence capacity, addressing conditions that allow al
Qaeda
and its affiliates to recruit and operate and enhancing our
understanding of
remote places around the world. More information on Feingold’s broader
strategy
is available at http://feingold.senate.gov/issues_afg_timetable.html.

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