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Senator Clinton Calls On Gates To Up Troop Levels In Afghanistan January 18, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Military News, Politics, US News.

WASHINGTON (AP)–Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who traveled together to both Iraq and Afghanistan over the weekend, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates Wednesday calling for an increase in Afghanistan of two or possibly three infantry battalions – some 2,300 troops.

The two senators said U.S. commanders there told them they need more intelligence and surveillance capabilities, specifically unmanned predator drones.

“Unlike in Iraq,” the senators wrote Gates, “we have a government in Afghanistan committed to promoting national interests over sectarian ones, is making tangible progress in governance, sincerely wants more U.S. help, and is fighting the enemy that brought us Sept. 11.”

Wednesday, Clinton also said the U.S. should cap the number of troops in Iraq. Clinton made appearances on network television and radio shows to discuss her recent trip to Iraq, and said she opposes President George W. Bush’s plan to increase U.S. troops in Iraq and favors redeploying troops out of Baghdad and eventually Iraq.

On Afghanistan, Clinton called the conflict there “one of the great missed opportunities,” urging an increase in U.S. troops before a likely “spring offensive” by the Taliban.

“Let’s focus on Afghanistan and get it right,” Clinton said.


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