Previewing Obama's Afghanistan Address
What are president's drawdown goals?
- Duration 4:35
- Date Jun 22, 2011
What are president's drawdown goals?
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Right now America is waiting to hear what the president has to say about bringing US troops home from Afghanistan.
Obama set to address the nation tonight at 8 PM eastern.
California congressman Duncan Hunter is a Republican on the armed services committee in joins us now.
Washington congressman Adam Smith is the committee's ranking -- Democrat congressman Smith to you first what are you hoping to hear from the president.
Well I think we wanna see more details on its plan for the draw -- and Afghanistan.
As British broad consensus that we're going to have a draw down the question is how quick.
You know the goal is to be done by 2014 but what does that ramp look like and I think tonight the president has the opportunity to lay out for us.
The progress that we've made what that progress means for our future plans and what his specific goals are in terms of drawing down our troops we've had you know some success in Afghanistan.
But the cost continues to be enormous and I think everybody in America wants to get to the point we can bring our troops home.
Well that cost.
Is enormous Congressman Hunter as you know all but the argument is that if you draw down too quickly and you walk away from a now.
Then everything we've spent so far especially the lives that have been given.
That becomes a waste and what are you set.
No -- actually true there's a very small minority in congress I think it wants to pull out totally the majority of us.
Recognize our long term national security interests in Afghanistan.
When I'm curious about tonight with the announcement isn't it if we're gonna draw down troops over gonna change strategy to -- -- Go for made counterinsurgency strategy to more of a counterterrorism strategy.
Because we're gonna have fewer people in order for counterinsurgency to work right you gotta have boots on the ground and a lot of boots on the ground so as we -- -- in troop numbers -- troop strength.
-- we also gonna make our objectives more attainable.
I think we can do that -- I think we can be successful in in making sure that the bad guys and Afghanistan don't -- their attention to our homeland quite by using fewer troops but that's not take the president changing the objectives of making them clear cut to the American people.
As as we draw down troops today as we -- and they'll we we have to change the strategy.
I think it in order for any type of -- down to succeed.
Congressman Smith I have read and you're closer obviously to the intelligence on all of this than I am so -- -- get your take on this I have read.
That the Pentagon's commanders have said to the president essentially we'd like to have two more full fighting seasons before we start a serious.
If that is there advise him and I guess I'm asking you to confirm that oh would you.
Essentially opt for the same kind of plan.
Take a smaller number of troops out now and and a larger number at the end of next year.
Why I can't confirm that directly but certainly the military is always very cautious -- were cautious in Iraq as well we had a hearing on -- -- me this morning.
About the draw down in Iraq and we're down to fifty -- I guess 46000 troops -- Iraq.
We're hoping to get down to zero by the end of the year there was some commanders are thought that -- was too quick but a -- has been able to stand and remember in Afghanistan.
They have explained an enormous number of Afghan military and police so I agree with Duncan on the that the balance -- what what is the mission how many boots you have on the ground.
But our hope is to increase the number of Afghan boots on the -- we've done.
So I think we do need to have a realistic plan for that draw down.
But you know what we're gonna have to start proceeding forward on that both because of the need in terms of cost but also you know we can't be there forever the Afghans have to take responsibility.
Congressman -- I know you're an Afghan veteran yourself.
Is this a situation where it where the the president has depressed the Pentagon and say no let's do a little quicker than you guys -- -- -- -- He probably does I would with all due respect to our our military leadership there's still inside that.
Well I would call the military -- and it's hard for them to get that outside of that.
So we're gonna press more troops and -- gonna press for more time.
We're gonna show that there is that we have made successes looked like Adam said we we haven't made as as much success as we would've -- after this much amount of time.
This much amount of money -- and as many lives as have been spent over there so.
You know that's that's worries that he's gonna have to mollify his military leadership is gonna -- -- -- his base to.
That's -- I I kind of see him doing here is trying to make everybody happy.
Congressman Hunter from the Republican side congressman Smith from the democratic side good to get both of your views on today thank you.
Thank thanks here with the president has safe.
Any night 8 o'clock eastern time as this -- -- manuals that about ten minutes so.
A lot to say in and that about a time our next trip.