Obama’s Afghanistan proposal under fire
By: Alex Isenstadt
March 27, 2009 02:46 PM EST
President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan proposal is under fire from the liberal base, which is becoming increasingly disappointed in his war policies.
Russ Feingold, the liberal and often defiant Wisconsin senator, said today that that Obama’s plan “could make the situation worse, not better.”
Peace Action, a liberal anti-war organization, is organizing a coalition to petition Congress to oppose Obama’s Afghanistan plan.
“It’s a shame President Obama believes he can pursue the same militaristic strategy as his predecessors and produce a different result,” said Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action.
And Win Without War, another anti-war group, also slammed Obama.
“I regret that President Obama, in his desire to protect our nation from a genuine threat, has outlined a policy that will undermine our security, not enhance it,” said Tom Andrews, the organization’s executive director. “In short, the president’s policy is playing into the hands of Al Qaeda and the Taliban by providing them with a cause that unites and strengthens them.”
The criticisms of the troop expansion in Afghanistan are similar to the liberal concerns over the slower than expected pace of withdrawal from Iraq.
Feingold argued that Obama’s plan was overly Afghan-centric when it should adopt a more regional approach and deal with Pakistan and Afghanistan jointly.
“As the bombing near the Khyber pass this morning highlights, we need to fully address the inextricable links between the crisis in Afghanistan and the instability and terrorist threats in Pakistan,” Feingold said.
Obama’s plan calls for sending 4,000 American troops to Afghanistan and boosting aid to Pakistan. It also calls for setting benchmarks for progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in those countries.
But today Feingold said, “This new administration must ensure that we do what we must not only in Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan.”