Representative Mike Coffman Challenges Obama's Afghanistan Strategy

March 30 2009, 9:04 AM

mikecoffmanPresident Barack Obama says his predecessor lost focus on the war in Afghanistan, introducing a new strategy meant to defeat terrorists operations there and in Pakistan, notes The Washington Post, which writes that Obama will boost U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 21,000 by this summer, bringing the total to 60,000. The focus, Obama says, is defeating al-Qaeda, with scant mention of the Taliban, which controls the southern part of the country. Representative Mike Coffman (pictured), a Republican on the Armed Services Committee, says he's concerned the strategy falls short, according to the Denver Daily News. The retired Marine Corps major, who served in Iraq, says he'd like to see troops deployed inside rural villages, where terrorists may be hiding, adding "it is irresponsible for this administration to be throwing additional personnel and resources into Afghanistan without having fully developed the necessary planning first." Other insiders say the plan appears vague, too. As CBS News' Kimberly Dozier writes on her blog, "no one I've spoken to has a clear view of what it actually is, or does." The Hill, meanwhile, reports that Obama's plan is supported by both Republican and Democratic leaders.

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