Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - Page 7 News List

US lawmakers worry about Afghanistan

EXIT PLAN? Anti-war senators are expressing wariness over US President Barack Obama’s plan to double troop levels without first designing a viable exit strategy


David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency adviser to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice recently warned senators against widening US involvement in the war.

“If you think about what we did in Vietnam, we escalated, we overthrew that leader, we took control of the problem, we tried to fix it and we couldn’t fix it, couldn’t afford it,” Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“And I just think we need to be extremely careful about signing ourselves up to escalating to the point where we can’t pullback ... Because once you own the problem, you own it,” he said.

Obama’s biggest supporters in Congress say they believe the new president won’t go too far. But they’re also counting on the popular president to win over a war-weary public.

“I have to believe he will come well prepared and present a case to us that will justify what he is attempting to do,” said Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat.

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