Harman Skeptical About More Troops for Afghanistan

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"Harman Skeptical About More Troops for Afghanistan"


Jane Harman (D-CA) is one of the most hawkish House Democrats. She even showed up at the launch party for a new neocon outfit called The Foreign Policy Initiative back in March. So this seems significant:

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), often hawkish on national security issues, is lining up with liberal Democrats against any further combat troop increases in Afghanistan.

Harman, a longtime Intelligence Committee member, told a Brookings Institution gathering today that any further increases “wouldn’t be well received” on Capitol Hill.

Harman’s view is that the Obama administration should deal with government corruption, and build up Afghan forces, before Congress is asked to pay for more U.S. troops. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U,S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has asked for 40,000 additional troops.

Combined with David Obey’s views I hope this is a sign that members of Congress are going to start seriously looking at questions of cost and overall impact on the national interest. It’s not really General McChrystal’s place to restrain himself in the quantity of resources he asks for. Probably ever senior level manager of any public or private sector endeavor thinks his bosses should give him more money and personnel to work with. But it’s the job of Congress and the White House to reach an overall judgment about all the considerations in play.

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