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Monday, August 9, 2010

 10:53 AM 

Kagen says U.S. can't afford continued presence in Afghanistan

U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen said today the United States can no longer afford to continue its current activities in Afghanistan and questioned the military’s continued presence in what he called one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

“This looks like Vietnam all over again where we are continuing to put more soldiers into harm’s way in a situation where we’ll never be able to plant the flag and say this is what victory looks like,” Kagen told reporters in a conference call after returning from a trip to the county.

Kagen, D-Appleton, is one of more than 100 Dems who voted against the president’s funding request for Afghanistan and questioned why the U.S. continued to pump billions into the country when a significant portion was lost to corruption and there were so many pressing needs at home.

The United States’ goal in Afghanistan was to wipe out al-Qaida, and Kagen said that had largely been accomplished. It is now time for the government in Afghanistan to take responsibility for the country, he said.

“We didn’t destroy Afghanistan,” said Kagen, who was joined on the trip by U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. “Why should the American taxpayers be responsible for building it, bringing it out of Biblical times into the 21st century?”


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