Collins praises, Gillibrand pans Trump for Afghanistan plan

Staff Reports Posted 21 August 2017 at 11:07 pm

President Donald Trump said the United States remains committed to defeating ISIS and “preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan.”

Trump, in a primetime address, said he would not announce troop levels but would expand authority for the US to target criminal and terrorist networks in Afghanistan.

Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) issued this statement:

“I applaud President Trump for standing by the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, and sharing with the American people his commitment for meeting key objectives in Afghanistan. His candor that we are not building a nation, but are stopping terrorists before they can ever darken our door again here at home is appreciated.

“It is time for other allies like Pakistan to contribute to victory. It is also time for us to engage the enemy on our terms with the guidance of our best military minds, and not under time constraints and quotas established by politicians.

“Tonight, Donald Trump demonstrated one of the reasons why America elected him to be President. That is to confront and defeat America’s enemies making our nation and its citizens safe in the world.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is the ranking member on the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She issued this statement:

“I found the President’s speech tonight terribly lacking. Lacking in details, lacking in substance and lacking in a vision of what success in Afghanistan looks like.

“When committing American service members overseas, the Commander in Chief needs to clearly define the mission and a strategy to achieve success. Until he can do that, expecting service members to fight and possibly die in Afghanistan is a disservice to their sacrifice.

“I am skeptical that the President’s ‘new strategy’ will achieve what the last sixteen years could not, and I will be calling for extensive hearings in the Senate where Congress must demand accountability and transparency from this Administration.”

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