Utah delegation on Obama’s Afghanistan plan

As expected, President Barack Obama has announced that another 30,000 U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan. In a speech at West Point Tuesday night, Obama said they will go as soon as possible but he says the plan is to start withdrawing forces from Afghanistan in July 2011. Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch criticized the president for handicapping U.S. forces. He said by failing to provide the number of troops requested by General Stanley McCrystal and for setting what Hatch called “arbitrary deadlines” for withdrawal. Senator Bob Bennett says he supports the surge in troops. However, he questions the wisdom of a pre-announced exit that runs the risk of hampering, not furthering our effort to achieve a solution in Afghanistan. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-1st District, criticized Obama for making “secret decisions” without fully informing lawmakers. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-3rd District, announced his belief that it is time to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. Lone Democrat Rep. Jim Matheson, D-2nd District, says the military “deserves support to finish the job against Al-Qaida and then to come home.”

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