South Carolina’s Congressional delegation as a whole generally supports the president’s announced surge of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan. For the past few months, the Obama administration has been mulling over its options for the protracted war which began after the September 11, 2001 bombings of New York City.
Upstate Congressman Bob Inglis says,“I appreciate the President thoughtfully considering all options. and that we need to give whatever it takes to ensure these radical jihadist have no safe haven or the ability to launch further attacks.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn says that the mood in the president’s pre-broadcast meeting with party leaders was somber but civil. He says the president has laid out a “prudent plan forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan—the place from which we were attacked on 9/11 and the region at the center of al Qaeda’s global campaign of violent extremism.”
Gresham Barrett of the Third District says, “While I am encouraged by the President’s decision but he has concerns that this deployment may not fully meet the needs of our forces in this region” He adds that there may be too much emphasis on the exit strategy.
Congressman John Spratt, one of two Democrats in the delegation, while supporting the buildup, takes issue with raising income taxes to pay for it.”I don’t think it’s timely to put a surcharge on income given the state of the economy,” he said in a release. Instead, he asserts the cost should be covered by savings from removing troops and equipment from Iraq.
The Lowcountry’s Henry Brown says he regrets what he calls the delay in making the decision, but supports the decision.
Senator Jim Demint says, “We must win the War on Terror to prevent future attacks like the ones on September 11…As President Obama is our commander-in-chief , and he hope the plan will achieve victory
Senator Lindsey Graham, who has stood behind Gen. McChrystal’s requests for more troops all along, says he will be happy if the U.S. is not locked into a withdrawal time.
And Joe Wilson, often a critic of Mr. Obama, says he applauds the decision, which he says is long overdue. He stated, “I’m pleased that the president has listened to our commanders on the ground as they aggressively pursue a multi-dimensional counter-insurgency strategy to secure Afghanistan.”