After 2,000 deaths, politicians debate U.S. future in Afghanistan

Ed Wray/AP
As the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan reached 2,000 this weekend, members of both parties are debating the future of America’s longest war.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on Monday that setting a withdrawal date in Afghanistan was a failure on the part of the Obama administration, saying it has given the Taliban enough fuel to make a comeback and put power in the hands of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whom McCain calls untrustworthy.

“Look, it is unraveling,” McCain said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “You are having the worst morale kind of situation you could possibly have, in allies that you can’t trust.”

A consistent critic of the administration’s foreign policy, McCain blames the current unraveling on President Obama, who he says lacks the military experience to make decisions about U.S. wars.

“He consistently overrode the recommendations of his military leaders, with no military experience himself,” McCain said. “And those military leaders, when those decisions were made, said this is going to entail greater risk.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he sees no “end game” if the U.S. were to continue its presence in Afghanistan for several years to come, as McCain suggested.

“I don't see how we can succeed in Afghanistan … unless we are going to stay there forever,” Schumer said on the same program. “It’s not that nothing has been accomplished, but having more troops stay there and try to win over the hearts and minds of the various tribes — it’s tough in Iraq, but it’s even tougher in Afghanistan. I think the president's done the right thing: a clear deadline and we’re getting out.”

The U.S. crossed the 2,000 mark after a suspected insider attack, one of more than 50 so-called "green-on-blue" killings on NATO forces, claimed the life of an American soldier on Sunday.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.