Republicans Seek Quick Boost in Force in Afghanistan

Posted October 25, 2009 at 11:36am

Senate Republicans on Sunday called on President Barack Obama to quickly adopt the Afghanistan strategy laid out by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, while Democrats were less eager to demand immediate action.“We already have men and women in danger over there now. The sooner we get a decision, the sooner we can send people over there,— Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.—McCain said Obama should not wait until after the Nov. 7 Afghan presidential runoff, as Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) has suggested, to make a decision about what to do in the troubled region. McCain said there should be bipartisan support for Obama to adopt McChrystal’s strategy of sending 40,000 additional troops.“The more united we can be behind [Obama], the more chance we have for success,— McCain said.Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) shared similar comments during a “Fox News Sunday— appearance.“Republicans want very much to support the president’s decision,— Kyl said. “If he follows Gen. McChrystal’s recommendations, I believe we will do that.—Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on CNN’s “State of the Union— that the U.S. “ought to rely on [Obama’s] hand-picked general. … We’ve got to have more troops there.—But Hatch distanced himself from former Vice President Dick Cheney’s statement last week that the White House is “dithering— on Afghanistan.“I would never want to call my president dithering,— Hatch said. But “I think it’s a mistake to just not make this decision.—Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who appeared on ABC’s “This Week,— said the United States should reduce its troop levels in Afghanistan and instead focus on combating al-Qaida. Feingold said he would resist any requests for additional troops and said Obama should announce a “flexible timetable— to ending U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.On “Fox News Sunday,— Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the size of Afghanistan’s army should be increased.“The president is taking the appropriate amount of time. I hope he reaches the right decision, which is to Afghanize the mission,— Levin said.