Top Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as a litany of others from their own party and even two tea-party caucus members wrote the president today insisting on a substantial reduction of the U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan:
We write to express our strong support for a shift in strategy and the beginning of a sizable and sustained reduction of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, beginning in July 2011,” the lawmakers wrote.
Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tea Party-favorite Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led the effort.
“We must accelerate the transfer of responsibility for Afghanistan’s development to the Afghan people and their government,” the lawmakers wrote.
The senators say the U.S. should maintain an ability to eliminate any new terrorist threats and continue to train the Afghan National Security Forces.
They say the current force size is excessive.
“These objectives do not require the presence of over 100,000 American troops engaged in intensive combat operations,” they wrote.
Polls have shown that Americans credit the exploding federal budget deficit (and the cuts in social programs the GOP is making in response) mostly to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that perhaps explains why some of the Democratic Party’s most populist members (if not their most dovish) signed on. The Hill