Pin It

Vermont Delegation Reacts to Troop Surge in Afghanistan 

Shortly after President Barack Obama officially announced his plan to add 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Vermont's three-member Washington delegation weighed in.

The trio mostly expressed concern about spending billions of dollars to fight a war in Afghanistan without much, if any, support from other nations while there is a recession here at home. They also fretted about being stuck in a quagmire. None called for an immediate withdrawal of troops.

“For me it boils down to whether or not there is a convincing answerto this question: What can realistically be achieved, and is it worthputting our soldiers’ lives on the line, at a million dollars a troop,as our economy continues to struggle here at home?" queried Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). "At this point I am not convinced that the hole dug earlier by a thousand bad decisions can be paved over at all.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he had "serious concerns" about the proposal, including cost, not having the support of other nations, and working with a corrupt partner in the Afghanistan government.

“I agree with President Obama that it would be a setback fordemocracy and stability if the Taliban regained power," said Sanders. “My nightmare is that we may get caught in a quagmire situation from which there will be no successful exit.”

Similarly, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) said he agreed with Pres. Obama's analysis of the situation, but added that the president had "reached the wrong conclusion." He also said the plan is not financially sustainable.

“The cost ofsupporting one soldier for one year is $1 million – or $30 billion peryear for the 30,000 new troops recommended tonight by the president," said Welch."Our nation is crippled by record deficits and skyrocketingunemployment. We need to spend our scarce resources rebuilding America,not nation-building abroad.”

Posted below are the official responses from each member of the delegation, but first are selected excerpts from the president's speech provided by the White House.

What's your take on Obama's plan for Afghanistan? Is it time, as Sen. George Aiken (D-VT) once famously told Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson in regard to Vietnam, to "declare victory and get out"? Or do you support Pres. Obama's troop surge plan?

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Shay Totten

About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation