After recently visiting the war zone, a Mississippi lawmaker is convinced that President Barack Obama’s artificial deadline for pulling out of Afghanistan is a major impediment to progress in the war-torn country.
Republican Roger Wicker, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, was also part of a congressional delegation that recently returned from a six-day trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kuwait. He was pleased with the progress being made in Afghanistan and is confident that U.S. troops are capable of successfully completing this critical mission.
The Mississippi lawmaker adds, however, that it became clear during the trip that the July 2011 withdrawal date announced by President Obama is a major impediment to progress as the Taliban is using the president’s artificial deadline to spread the message that the U.S. cannot be depended upon in the long term.
“This is a matter of convincing the local tribal elders that we’re there for the long haul — that we want a long-term strategic partnership and we’re going to help them rebuild their society after three decades of war-torn devastation,” Wicker explains, noting that that means “giving them a comfort level that this hated Taliban regime that the public does not like, that we’re going to be there to help them never come back in.”
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