U.S. lawmakers visit Afghanistan to press case for troops to stay

WASHINGTON Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:32pm EDT

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner answers a question during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 26, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner answers a question during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 26, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner, is leading a delegation of Republican lawmakers on a trip to Afghanistan to underscore their call for U.S. forces to remain there and also to review the country's presidential election, Boehner's office said on Monday.

Boehner and seven other House Republicans met with U.S. troops, the U.S. ambassador and the commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan during the two-day visit that began on Sunday.

The April 5 vote is meant to usher in Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power as President Hamid Karzai steps down after 12 years and Western forces prepare to depart after more than a decade of war.

Democratic President Barack Obama plans to withdraw most, or possibly all, U.S. forces from Afghanistan this year, winding down a conflict that began following the September 11, 2001, attacks. Obama would like to leave about 8,000 troops to train Afghan forces and for a counter-terrorism mission. Karzai, however, has declined to sign an agreement allowing this.

Many Republican lawmakers have pressed for more U.S. forces to stay and say they want to avoid a duplication of the instability in Iraq, where they blame Obama's decision to withdraw U.S. troops in 2011 for a wave of sectarian violence.

Boehner's office said the visit aimed to send "a strong, unequivocal message that the House of Representatives wants to maintain a right-sized presence in Afghanistan."

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Grant McCool)

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Comments (11)
SunnyDaySam wrote:
‘Many Republican lawmakers have pressed for more U.S. forces to stay and say they want to avoid a duplication of the instability in Iraq, where they blame Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops in 2011 for a wave of sectarian violence.’

Republicans (party of ‘personal responsibility’) always blame somebody else! These same GOPer ChickenHawks voted to INVADE Iraq in the first place and bush/cheney/GOP had no plan for after their invasion. And now they blame President Obama?? wow!

Apr 14, 2014 2:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BATTMAN wrote:
We need to send more troops to Afghanistan and send troops back into Iraq. We need to stop messing around and declare total war. First we need to reinstate the draft, and the very first ones on these draft notices is the Chickenhawk’s in the Tea and Republican party, receiving all these kickbacks from the military industrial complex, that keep them in power. When was the last dependent of a congressman killed or wounded in these phony wars?

Apr 14, 2014 2:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BATTMAN wrote:
We need to send more troops to Afghanistan and send troops back into Iraq. We need to stop messing around and declare total war. First we need to reinstate the draft, and the very first ones on these draft notices is the Chickenhawk’s in the Tea and Republican party, receiving all these kickbacks from the military industrial complex, that keep them in power. When was the last dependent of a congressman killed or wounded in these phony wars?

Apr 14, 2014 2:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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