Afghan troop surge gets GOP support

Oct. 11, 2009 at 1:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama would have the "broad support" of Senate Republicans if he chooses to send more troops to Afghanistan, a GOP leader said Sunday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told CBS's "Face the Nation" that Obama should heed the assessments of military commanders for a surge of up to 40,000 soldiers, and that if he does, "he'll have broad support."

"I think the smart thing to do here ... (is) to listen to General (David) Petraeus and General (Stanley) McChrystal. They were highly successful with the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq," McConnell said. "Most people think that that's the best chance to succeed in Afghanistan and, of course, in Pakistan. You can't completely separate the two."

Also appearing on CBS was Senate Armed Services Committee member Jack Reed. The Democratic senator from Rhode Island warned Republicans that within the costs of the counterinsurgency strategy are significant potential expenses that are "not just about troops" but also include responsibilities to build new Afghanistan institutions.

"I think question (is) ... will they pay for it? They have been notorious over the last eight years of sending troops but putting it on the tab for future generations," Reed said.

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