U.S. President Barack Obama listens during one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. UPI/Pete Souza/White House | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama should develop a plan for Afghanistan that weighs success against U.S. national interests, a lawmaker said.
Obama in July is expected to announce decisions about the status of U.S. forces committed to Afghanistan. A transition would be part of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's plans to take over responsibility of security by 2014.
U.S. lawmakers are re-examining the Afghan conflict after Obama announced last week that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan. Bin Laden sanctioned the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States from Afghanistan.
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed concern over whether the war in Afghanistan was worth the billions of dollars spent each month.
"Our geostrategic interests are threatened in numerous locations, not just by terrorism, but by debt, economic competition, energy and food prices, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and numerous other forces," he said in a statement. "Solving these problems will be much more difficult if we devote too many resources toward one country that, historically, has frustrated nation building experiments."
His comments come after a report from humanitarian agencies led by the aid group Oxfam about the readiness of Afghan forces. The report describes Afghan forces as ill-equipped and lacking the ability to fight effectively.