President Obama announced, Wednesday evening, a plan to begin drawing down troops in Afghanistan – 33,000 of them by this time next year.
Alaska’s Senators both said the draw-down must be done in such a way that does not leave the remaining American forces high and dry.
Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks just sent 4,000 troops to Afghanistan, and Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski said in statements last night they want to ensure those troops have the necessary resources and back-up. Last week, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates assured Murkowski that American soldiers remaining in Afghanistan will be supported and provided for.
Murkowski’s written statement didn’t do much more than voice a desire for what she calls a responsible withdraw. She did not endorse or criticize the President’s plan. Senator Mark Begich gave his support to the White House announcement and said the President is making good on his promise to draw down troops. The Democratic Senator said it’s disappointing more troops can’t come home, but said in his statement that the decision was based on strategy rather than politics. Representative Don Young has not yet weighed in… he recently called on the U.S. to entirely pull out of Afghanistan, and said American soldiers aren’t being given the ability to fight the way they need to because they are, in his opinion, hamstrung by too many rules.
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