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Posted at 5:52 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2014
Speaker John A. Boehner says it’s time for President Barack Obama to reassess his strategy for withdrawing from Afghanistan after an attack left a general dead.
“What happened today is not only a personal tragedy, but a setback that demands leaders in Washington and Kabul take time to assess the state of our shared campaign and the necessary steps forward,” the Ohio Republican said. “The Taliban’s recent campaign of high-profile attacks is calculated to accompany a global PR strategy highlighting the fact that U.S. and coalition forces will soon be leaving Afghanistan and abandoning its weak and ineffective government. The Taliban wants everyone to know it will soon dominate all aspects of life in Afghanistan once again.
“I have told the President privately and publicly that my biggest concern is that America will end its mission in Afghanistan just short of the goal line. After my visit there in May, I warned that if we did not demonstrate a determination to finish the job, we would be looking at a reversal of progress similar to what we have seen in Iraq. The national security interests of our country are too high, and too much sacrifice has been made to watch that happen. So let me reiterate: if the President decides to re-think his strategy, including withdrawals, deadlines, and policy restraints, particularly on certain associated terrorist networks, he will have my support.”
Boehner, who has long been a hawk on Afghanistan and Iraq, also urged the country’s two presidential candidates facing a recount — Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah — to continue to exhibit statesmanship.
“The Afghan people need their leaders more than ever, and the international community needs confidence that the leaders of Afghanistan understand the stakes,” he said.