Murkowski Comments on President Obama’s Afghanistan Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, made the following statement regarding President Obama’s speech on his plan for Afghanistan:

“I am pleased that the President, after months of deliberation, is willing to provide General McChrystal with a substantial number of additional troops to carry out his mission in Afghanistan. But the key question is whether the President is fully committed to a strategy that provides a peaceful future for the people of Afghanistan and ceases the export of global terrorism from within its borders. While announcing a troop increase, the President also said that the United States will begin withdrawing forces in July 2011. There is merit in putting the Afghan people on notice that they need to take control of their future but we must be certain that the July 2011 date is not applied arbitrarily in a way that would cause our hard fought gains to quickly disappear.

“I am also concerned about how we will pay for this escalation. I do not support the idea of a war tax, as some have recommended. One funding source I think we can look at is the failed economic stimulus law, where there are hundreds of billions of unspent dollars. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee I will continue my fight to ensure that our troops have sufficient funds to carry out their mission.”

# # #