December 01, 2009

Udall Statement on President’s Approach in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement this evening in reaction to President Barack Obama's address outlining an increase in troops for the war in Afghanistan:

"I appreciate President Obama's thoughtful and deliberative approach in both determining and explaining the path forward in Afghanistan. He obviously inherited a very complex situation as president. Fighting two costly wars and determining the best course of action is not an easy task to undertake.

"Throughout the process that has led to the president's decision, I have expressed my concerns surrounding the strategy in Afghanistan. I do not believe our commitment there should be open-ended. It should be an Afghan-led effort. And with the widespread government corruption we have seen - especially in the recent election - I do not believe we have a reliable partner in this effort.

"While the president and his administration are beginning to address these concerns, I remain unconvinced that sending an additional 30,000 American troops into harm's way improves the situation or advances our national security interests in the region. Although skeptical, I remain eager to learn the rationale for this strategy in Afghanistan as the plan and its details are explored through committee testimony and debate in the days and weeks to come."