Feingold to Propose Afghan Troop Withdrawal Amendment to War Bill

Posted May 24, 2010 at 4:31pm

Sen. Russ Feingold announced Monday that he plans to propose an amendment to the $30 billion war supplemental funding bill that would require President Barack Obama to develop a “flexible” plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

“A large, open-ended, expensive military presence in Afghanistan is not the way to defeat al Qaeda,” the Wisconsin Democrat said in a statement released by his office. “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.”

Obama late last year announced an escalation of forces in Afghanistan in an attempt to defeat the al-Qaida terrorist network, help build up the Afghan army and strengthen Afghanistan’s government. Obama simultaneously announced plans to begin a drawdown of troops in 2011.

Feingold’s amendment mirrors previous legislation he co-sponsored with Reps. Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and it would require Obama to provide a plan and timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, while identifying variables that could require changes to that timetable. The amendment would not require the redeployment of any troops.