While Obama announces that he will (slowly) send 30,000 troops (out of the 40,000 requested) to Afghanistan, he faces opposition from the left AND the right. (And just coincidentally, I am sure, he plans to have the troops home within three years…..just in time for the 2012 elections….)
Congressman Jason Chaffetz is one of the on the right that disagrees with the President’s plan to send more troops. In a forum at the Hinckley Institute of Politics, he unveiled his proposal for Afghanistan – get out. If you don’t get out, then by golly, go all the way and send the generals everything they need and now.
Admittedly causing some surprise and consternation among conservatives, he is also garnering support from them. Here’s an opinion from the “Voice of Deseret” blog:
Jason Chaffetz’ proposals perfectly dovetail with true conservatism. America was intended to be a republic, not an empire. Consequently, the best use of our military forces is to defend the country, not to engage in nation-building, peacekeeping, or wiping babies’ asses all over the world. If we must commit American forces outside the country, do it the way we did in Desert Storm. Ensure overwhelming force, give it a clear-cut mission, give it sufficient resources and latitude to accomplish the mission, and then get out when the mission is accomplished.
In another local conservative blog, The Daily Dose, comes this:
Rep. Chaffetz believes that the troops have already fought and won in Afghanistan by rooting out Al-Qaeda (according to Obama’s National Security Advisor fewer than 100 Al-Qaeda remain in the country) and toppling the Taliban, but the United States will need to continue to hunt and kill terrorists around the world. Chaffetz said if the President believes we need to continue fighting in Afghanistan, we need to do so with full commitment to win — otherwise we should begin the process of bringing our troops home.
Congressman Chaffetz cited President Obama’s own national security advisor, General James Jones who said in October that “”I don’t foresee the return of the Taliban. Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling,” He said. “The al Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.”
His proposal to the President states that we must “define the mission” and “redefine the rules of engagement“. He then suggests that ” If our mission in Afghanistan is simply to protect the populace and build the nation, then I believe the time has come to bring our troops home.”
When questioned at the forum about his reasons, he simply stated that he knew he would take heat for his position from his own party, but he fundamentally felt it was the right position to take. He has not hesitated to disagree with the Republican party, either before or after his election to Utah’s 3rd Congressional district and he certainly has not hesitated to disagree with the President.