House Progressives Launch Forums to Vet Afghanistan Policy

Posted March 23, 2009 at 4:26pm

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are kicking off their own series of forums to discuss foreign policy options for Afghanistan, a topic already causing friction between the liberal bloc and other Democrats, including House leaders and President Barack Obama.

CPC co-chairmen, Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), on Monday announced “Seeking Global Security,— their six-part, nonpartisan series of talks that will include presentations by leading experts on the region.

The first forum, “Historic Perspective on Afghanistan, its People and their Cultures,— will take place Wednesday. Future panels will focus on defining strategic interests in the region, military goals, components of a comprehensive strategy, and foreign policy on Pakistan as well as forging an international diplomatic strategy.

Afghanistan will be the “first major test of the Obama Administration’s efforts to secure global stability,— according to the CPC press release.

Anti-war lawmakers have already been voicing concerns with Obama’s foreign policy plans for Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, a handful of Democrats — including Woolsey — signed onto a letter to Obama urging him to reconsider his plan to send an additional 17,000 troops into the region. And despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) endorsement of Obama’s troop plan, several in the party’s left flank are vowing to staunchly oppose the move.