Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, praised President Obama for keeping his promise to begin withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan this summer but he believes the current circumstances the President described to the American people allow for swifter action. Senator Cardin made the following remarks in response to the President’s announced timetable:
“I support the President in his efforts to begin a draw down in Afghanistan. I agree with his assessment that the killing of Osama Bin Laden and lack of an active al-Qaeda operation in Afghanistan have changed the dynamic on the ground. But I believe we can be more aggressive in bringing our troops home.
“U.S. Forces have served admirably for nearly a decade in Afghanistan, but they should not be expected to secure and police every Afghan town and village. It is universally recognized that the Afghan people need to take responsibility for the future of their country and their political system. The shift in U.S. policy and troop withdrawal should be sped up, saving American lives and treasure. I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues in the Senate to revise U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to expedite a sizeable and sustained draw down, while assisting the Afghans in building their capacity to self govern.”