Oklahoman: Oklahoma Delegation Reacts to Obama’s Speech

Dec 02, 2009
In The News

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa: "After such a long deliberation, I am pleased that President Obama announced his administration’s strategy for Afghanistan. … I commend the president for making the difficult, but necessary, decision to provide General McChrystal with additional troops, and I support the president’s acceleration of the deployment of these additional forces. … I am concerned, however, that we have the right composition of combat forces, support forces and training forces to meet mission requirements. In addition, they must be provided with the funds and equipment necessary to succeed. … Setting a timeline of July 2011 to begin a withdrawal troops from Afghanistan when the entire 30,000 troops will not arrive in theater until this coming summer makes little sense.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: "I believe the president made a compelling case for why it is absolutely critical that America defeat al-Qaida and prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies. And while I would have been more comfortable with the original recommendation of General McChrystal to increase troops by 40,000, I am still pleased with the addition of 30,000 new troops and the increased contributions of our NATO allies. However, I am troubled by the suggestion that we plan to bring our troops home in 18 months. … if conditions on the ground are not adequately considered, setting a deadline is a mistake. We have an opportunity to win this war and we need to take it.”

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee: "The reality is that the president and the nation are not faced with any easy choices when it comes to Afghanistan. It is the responsible and necessary decision to move aggressively against the Taliban and al-Qaida to defeat them, and we all hope that this effort is successful. … Hopefully, the president’s strategy will compel the Karzai government to strengthen Afghan security forces’ efforts to provide for their own security, which will allow for the safe return of our troops.”

Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City: "While I am encouraged by the president’s decision to increase and strengthen our resources on the ground, I remain concerned about whether 30,000 troops is enough manpower to do what we set out to do and defeat the Taliban. I am also disheartened by this administration’s willingness to put an expiration date on this mission, once again demonstrating their lack of resolve in this region. … It has become increasingly clear to me that the resurgence of Taliban and al-Qaida activity in Afghanistan requires a strong response, both by the United States and our NATO allies. Returning Afghanistan to its former status as a base for terrorists threatens all of western civilization …”

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne: "After almost three months of waiting, I was pleased to hear that President Obama has finally made a decision on the recommendation of General McChrystal to send additional troops to Afghanistan. And while his decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan does not fully reflect General McChrystal’s request for 40,000 troops, it does show a willingness to listen to the recommendations of his commanders in the field. I agree with General McChrystal when he said, ‘while the situation is serious, success is still achievable. …’ This new deployment, along with the 22,000 additional troops President Obama authorized earlier this year will bring the total U.S. forces in Afghanistan to more than 100,000.”

Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa: "I am pleased that President Obama heeded the calls of General McChrystal to send additional troops and resources to Afghanistan. However, I am concerned that President Obama could be giving our enemies comfort with his proposed troop withdrawal date of July 2011. It is vital that the president not set premature immediate timetables for withdrawal as it could embolden al-Qaida and the Taliban to continue their insurgency campaigns, and show a weakness of American resolve to win this war among the Afghan people and our allies. … it is critical that the Afghan security forces continue to step up to the plate.”

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