Pelosi, Schumer Express Support for Troop Surge in Afghanistan
July 31, 2008 - 6:03 PMHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Charles Schumer both say they support Sen. Barack Obama’s call for a surge in Afghanistan, increasing troop strength there by two brigades.
“The fact is that the war on terror is in Afghanistan. We need more resources there. That was clear from the day we left our full attention from Afghanistan and moved onto Iraq. So I do think that it’s essential that we win the war in Afghanistan,” Pelosi told CNSNews.com during a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday.
“We are understaffed there, not only in our military presence, but also in terms of the reconstruction of Afghanistan. So the benefits of the Democratic government are more clearly presented to the people of Afghanistan,” she said.
Schumer agreed, adding that the expected Democratic presidential nominee’s recent trip to the Middle East and Europe shifted the debate from Iraq to Afghanistan.
When asked by CNSNews.com whether he would support a troop surge, Schumer said, “Yes. The bottom line is I think Obama’s trip was brilliant. Not in the short term, but in the long term, because it’s changed the whole debate. And the whole debate now is focused on Afghanistan more than on Iraq.”
Pelosi, meanwhile, added that she wants to see tangible results of democracy in Afghanistan, which she hopes could be accomplished by a troop surge.
She also said that, right now U.S. troops are “tied up” in Iraq, making a troop surge difficult.
“As Obama has said, we need more troops in Afghanistan and that all of our troops are tied up in Iraq sends a clear message that our priorities are not in order,” Pelosi said.