President On Troop Withdrawal; Texoma Congressman Reacts - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

President On Troop Withdrawal; Texoma Congressman Reacts

President Barack Obama says he's withdrawing the "surge" of forces he sent to Afghanistan.
In a speech from the White House, Obama said he's pulling 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer. Of that number, 10,000 will come home by the end of the year. Obama said in a 13-minute speech that "The tide of war is receding."
The draw down will mean that almost 70,000 American service members will remain in Afghanistan. Obama said they will leave at "a steady pace." The U.S. combat mission is not expected
to end until December 2014.

Newschannel Six spoke to U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry of Texas about the President's plan and he warned against giving notice of when troops would be leaving. 

"General Patraeus is the first to tell you that the gains we made are fragile and reversible," said Congressman Thornberry. "My fear is that we make it too easy to reverse those gains when we make these decisions based on the calendar. When we tell the enemy and potential friends that we are going to be leaving at this such and such time." 

The Congressman also said he felt the President was giving in to political pressure instead of keeping the mission objective in sight. He said that is a dangerous thing to do.

"The national security decisions, you do what's right and you don't worry about the political consequences," said Congressman Thornberry. "So the thing I worry most about here is there seems to be a political calculation trying to appease the people who want to come home. I think that's always a mistake in national security."

Congressman Thornberry recently visited Afghanistan with Speaker of the House John Boehner. The Congressman told us that the gains made by the troop surge in that country are remarkable. He said he walked down the streets of some villages during the visit that a year ago were in the hands of the enemy.

 

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