WISCREPORT- U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) has introduced a resolution calling for more resources to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a key staging ground for terrorists in the continued fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and its sympathizers.
Feingold, a thirteen-year member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is introducing the resolution to refocus attention on Afghanistan, where a resurgent Taliban has destabilized the country’s southern region, opium production levels have reached record levels, and violence is on the rise throughout the country. The resolution is cosponsored by Senator John Kerry (D-MA).
Feingold said, “If we don’t strengthen our efforts to defeat the Taliban and to create long-term stability in Afghanistan and the region, Afghanistan will remain what it was on 9/11 – a haven for those who seek to harm our country, and a source of instability that will continue to threaten our national security.”
During his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on August 21, 2006, General James Jones, NATO commander and commander of European Command, said that “these are difficult times for Afghanistan...If we want to succeed in Afghanistan, the answer is clear: Afghanistan needs more sustained support from the international community.”
Both Jones and the NATO Secretary General have recently called for additional troops, something Feingold supports. Feingold’s resolution calls for increased resources across the board for counter-insurgency, counter-narcotics, reconstruction and diplomatic efforts.
“I supported the decision to go to war in Afghanistan, but this administration took its eye off the ball by focusing on Iraq. Unless we ramp up our efforts in Afghanistan, we risk leaving behind a weak government susceptible to the kind of extremism responsible for the attacks on our country on 9/11,” Feingold said.
“Afghanistan could be a major victory in the international fight against terrorist networks, but only if we are willing to give it the attention and resources it demands”, Senator Feingold added.