In an interview with ThinkProgress today, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told us that the well-executed killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, “absolutely” bolsters the case for beginning a significant withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Explaining his decision to vote for the Afghanistan war in 2001, Frank said, “We went there to get Osama bin Laden. And we have now gotten Osama bin Laden. … So yes, I think this does strengthen the case [for withdrawal].”
Frank was appearing at the Center for American Progress Action Fund to discuss the need for sensible defense-spending reductions. The bin Laden killing also argues for “reducing our expenditures where we defend our legitimate interests,” he told us. Frank continued:
Look, part of the argument against this reduction is that it was reputational, for staying in Afghanistan. ‘We can’t look like America was driven out.’ ‘We can’t go away with our tail between our legs.’ All of those metaphors. Well, we just killed Osama bin Laden, and I think that takes a lot of the pressure away — a lot of the punch away from the argument that ‘oh, it will look like we walked away.’”
Obama is “entitled to call President Bush and ask if he can borrow the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner because he was able to do it,” Frank added.
Last night on CNN, firefight and 9/11 first responder Kenny Specht said, “I mean, we’re in a quagmire, for lack of a better term, in Afghanistan. I hope to God that tonight is one large step to maybe wrapping up operations in Afghanistan.”
,Dave Weigel tweets that “Sen. Pat Toomey says capture ‘doesn’t change fundamental mission’ in Afghanistan, we still need to be there”