WASHINGTON – Tonight, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following reaction to President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan:
“Tonight, the President announced that he will begin withdrawing U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan this year, with the goal of withdrawing the 30,000 surge troops by the end of 2012. I commend the President for setting measured and reasonable withdrawal goals that will not undermine the significant progress our brave service members have made in Afghanistan over the past year.
“In order to prevent Afghanistan from returning to a terrorist safe haven that threatens our nation’s security, the U.S. and our allies need to continue to empower the Afghan people to defend, feed and govern themselves. While significant progress has been made in that effort, that progress remains fragile and we must be mindful of that as we modify U.S. troop levels. As we begin to draw down our troops and our allies follow suit, key non-combat missions will become all the more important. The robust civilian surge that is now underway should continue unabated, while efforts to effectively train the Afghan National Army and Police units must intensify. The reduced force levels announced by the President ensure that the U.S. will maintain a force large enough to achieve these important goals, while also mapping out the details of the U.S. exit strategy.”