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Indiana Congresspeople Agree On Obama's Military Extension In Afghanistan

Jeffrey Zeldman

There's rare bipartisan backing from Indiana's congressional delegation for President Obama's decision to extend the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

Republicans and Democrats alike invoke the specter of Iraq as a cautionary lesson on the risk of pulling out American troops before security forces are capable of taking over.

Congressman Andre Carson (D-7th) says he's disappointed Obama isn't keeping a pledge to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year, but says with the Taliban still a threat, the U.S. has no choice.

“It has cost us over 2,000 American lives and nearly $1 trillion, so the American people are ready for this to end,” Carson says. “With that being said, though, no one wants to leave behind really a safe haven for terrorists or allow the resurgence of the Taliban.”

Carson and Congressman Todd Young (R-9th) agree a pullout would be inviting a Taliban takeover, though Young says the original withdrawal plan is partly to blame. He says Afghan forces have remained weak because soldiers knew they'd be in the Taliban crosshairs after American troops' departure at the end of 2016. Young says Obama is right to heed commanders instead of what he charges was a politically motivated timeline.

“The Taliban have been laying and waiting, knowing U.S. troops will disengage,” Young says. “That’s complicated, the efforts to find troops that want to fight, understandably. They know the Taliban is there and ready to go after them and their families.”

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-2nd) say the U.S. needs to learn from the rise of ISIS in Iraq after U.S. troops pulled out. Donnelly says in a statement an unstable Afghanistan threatens American security.

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