BOSTON (CBS) — Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are responding to President Donald Trump’s announcement of a plan for U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan.
In Monday night’s prime time speech, the president claimed to have a dramatically new strategy for the Afghan war–but he provided little in the way of details about a possible troop increase.
Sen. Ed Markey said the President’s speech left many questions unanswered–like how many Americans will be sent to Afghanistan.
Congressman Stephen Lynch asked why the president was concerned with making what he called a “hasty retreat” from Afghanistan.
“He talked about, this was no time for a hasty withdraw, but we’ve actually been there 15 years at least, so it’s not a hasty retreat at all,” Lynch told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stephens.
He also said he was disappointed President Trump didn’t talk about returning to Congress to get a renewed authorization for the use of force in Afghanistan.
“I thought that would be a helpful opportunity to get Congress involved,” he said.
Congressman Jim McGovern said he was disappointed in Trump’s “same old, same old” policy on what has become the longest war in US history.
“We have spent billions and billions of dollars on this war, we’ve lost some incredible young men and women in this war, and it’s basically an endless war,” he said. “I don’t understand how it is in our national interest to continue to expand our military footprint to support a government that is one of the most corrupt governments in the world, and on top of that, a brutal government.”
Congressman Michael Capuano said he didn’t hear anything new from Trump.
“It sounded to me last night like apparently the United States will be in Afghanistan for the entire time that Donald Trump is president, which is not what I wanted to hear, I don’t think that’s what the American people wanted to hear,” he said.
He said he’s wanted to reduce the US military presence there for a long time, and said “we should have left years ago”–after al-Quaida was pushed out of the country.
“We know that the fight’s not over, but the fight’s no longer in Afghanistan,” he said. “We are engaged in nation-building that has not worked and will not work.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports