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***PRESS RELEASE*** Rohrabacher: “Administration’s Current Afghanistan Policy Will Not Work”

May 18, 2009

Washington, May 18, 2009 - Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has joined seventy-four lawmakers as an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2404, requiring the Secretary of Defense to submit a report by the end of the year to Congress outlining the United States’ exit strategy for military forces in Afghanistan participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. On May 14th, Rep. Rohrabacher gave a speech on the House floor expressing heavy skepticism of the Obama administration’s current plan for Afghanistan.

“It won’t work,” said Rohrabacher. “The structure the administration is trying to set up for its operations in Afghanistan is contrary to the traditions and culture of the Afghan people, particularly their own tribal and militia system. Furthermore, it downplays the role of opium production in financing the radical Islamic elements in the region.

“The policy is fundamentally flawed. Our military deserves those of us on the political and diplomatic end of the fight to do the job this administration is failing to do. If we’re going to keep sending troops over there, we better make sure they have a program that can succeed.”

Rep. Rohrabacher is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight. The text of Mr. Rohrabacher’s floor speech can be found below.

May 14, 2009--Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2346, but I do so reluctantly. I am reluctant because as someone who has spent the last 30 years studying Afghanistan and having been in and out of that country and being someone who has studied the current administration's plan, I am sorry to say that the current administration's plan will not work. It is doomed to failure.

Thus we are here allocating money, supplemental money, for our troops to send them overseas, but we are not backing them up with a political plan, a structure for Afghanistan that will work, that is consistent with the customs of the people of Afghanistan . Also their plan does not focus on drug eradication and how we are going to eliminate the problem in Afghanistan . How will our people succeed without the drug eradication problem that we know, the alternative that exists, that is being ignored? No. We are sending our people over. They deserve our support financially. But we should get together and work with the administration to reform their plan because it will not work.