Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Joe Sestak's Statement on Presidential Speech

from the inbox:

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Congressman Joe Sestak voiced support for President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. For months, Sestak, drawing from his firsthand experience with counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan as head of the Navy's anti-terrorism unit, has called for a renewed commitment to the crucial mission of eradicating Al Qaeda and its safe haven in Pakistan.

"President Obama has presented a plan that will allow us to finally complete a mission that is as indispensable today as it was eight years ago: the elimination of the Al Qaeda terrorists who struck us on 9/11," said Joe Sestak. "It is a difficult decision. After years of war and with economic challenges at home, the American people are justified in their concern about an increased commitment in Afghanistan. But the President has made the right call. If we leave Al Qaeda behind in a safe haven and are struck again, what can we ever say to those we swore to protect?

"From the outset of this debate, I have called for a strategy that is focused on Al Qaeda in Pakistan, is not overly dependent on nation-building in Afghanistan and is not open-ended. The President stated similar goals. But, while I support the President's overall approach, I will be looking for further details. First, the clear emphasis of our overall goal must remain focused on eliminating the safe haven in Pakistan. And second, we should measure our progress not by a fixed timetable, but by benchmarks of achieving America's security. We therefore must be provided those benchmarks of success and/or failure that trigger an exit or alternative strategy."

1 comment:

phillydem said...

Honestly, al-Queda is not a traditional army that can be defeated by any means the current US military knows, despite their claims otherwise. They have a political aim. Tactics such as suicide bombers are just that - strategy - a means to an end. If the US were somehow to eliminate a "safe haven" in Afghanistan, there are many other lawless and remote places and friendly countries for them. And, their message of oppression will be enhanced, not silenced.

One thing the continuing adventure does do for the military is to help justify annual expenses that dwarf anything health care reform will cost. In less than 2 years we will spend more on defense than the entire current health care bill will cost in 10 years. Think about that.