December 01, 2009

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen tonight released the below statement following President Obama's address announcing his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan:

"The situation in Afghanistan is extremely complex and difficult, and the President clearly understands that.  After years of mismanagement of this war, we need a strategy that protects our national security and prevents a resurgence of terrorist safe havens in this region.  As the President said, we must balance discussion of troop levels with consideration of Afghan governance and security capabilities, the role of Pakistan, the possibility of additional resources from our NATO allies, and the many other challenges we face as a nation.


"The decision to send more American troops into this hostile and dangerous region of the world is not one to take lightly.  I agree with President Obama that our objective needs to ultimately be focused on transferring responsibility to the people of Afghanistan. 


"Later this week, I will have the opportunity to ask Secretary Gates, Secretary Clinton, and Chairman Mullen directly about Afghanistan policy when they testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  I want to hear more from them about whether we are setting clear and realistic expectations and how they will measure success and track progress.


"Nearly 150 members of the New Hampshire National Guard will deploy to Afghanistan by the end of the month.  It is for these brave men and women and those already on the ground that we absolutely must have a clear mission and a clear endgame in Afghanistan."

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