Obama’s troop withdrawal plan from Afghanistan has stirred California lawmakers' criticism with both parties of Golden State congressional delegation responding strongly.
On June 22, Obama announced that U.S. will withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of this year and 23,000 more by the end of next summer.
However, California liberals and even one well-known conservative thought the withdraw is never enough, whereas another renowned conservative believed that it may go too far.
I'm deeply concerned, Rep. Howard Buck’’ McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said at a Capitol Hill hearing on June 23.
With the Taliban stumbling, we need a strategy designed to knock the enemy to the mat, not give them a breather, McKeon said.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte) claimed that the plan falls well short of what many of us in Congress were hoping for.
Profoundly disappointed’’ was Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma)’s response to the withdrawal announcement.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) said, A more significant and reasonable goal would have been the swift withdrawal of 50,000 combat troops, half of the roughly 100,000 U.S. troops currently on the ground.
In 2001, Lee was strongly vocal against the use of force in Afghanistan. Now she may push for a long-term change of defense spending bill to end supporting the fight for Afghanistan.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), a conservative who shifted as an unexpected ally of the liberal Lee in her campaign against the war in the Middle East, said, The centralized system of government foisted upon the Afghan people is not going to hold after we leave.
So let's quit prolonging the agony and inevitable, Rohrabacher said.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, said that a troop withdrawal is the right call but, without a change of strategy, shifting away from nation building and putting greater emphasis on counter-terrorism operations, progress will remain slow and current mission objectives will be more difficult to meet.
Hunter also said during the Armed Services Committee hearing, If we had 10 years and 300,000 troops, we could make Afghanistan into San Diego. ... But we don't have 10 years. We don't have 300,000 people on the ground. I haven't heard any talk about change in strategy to accompany the change in troop numbers.