In response to a report that the Obama administration may cut U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to below 10,000, senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain have released a statement. Read it below:
We hope a recent press report that the White House is considering a post-2014 force in Afghanistan well below the recommendations of our military commanders is incorrect.
After 13 years of sacrifice and investment, success in Afghanistan is now within our grasp. The last thing we should do in the coming years is increase the risks to our mission unnecessarily. We believe the recommendations of our military leaders represent sound military advice and would allow for continued U.S. support in the areas still needed by Afghan security forces. Maintaining several thousand additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan could mean the difference between success and failure.
This is the lesson of Iraq. The administration ignored sound military advice and adopted a high risk strategy of withdrawing all U.S. troops. The result, tragically, is a resurgent Al-Qaeda, rising violence, and growing risk of renewed sectarian conflict. That fatal mistake in Iraq must not be repeated in Afghanistan.
We stand ready to support a follow-on force that is consistent with the recommendations of our military commanders and that will end the war in Afghanistan with success.
Meanwhile, Fred Kagan warns that in cutting troops to that level, the U.S. would be snatching failure from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan.
On Thursday, Republican senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Democratic senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined with several female veterans of the armed forces to speak out against a proposal that would create a new justice system for serious military prosecutions, independent of military commanders.
Three U.S. senators have identified the missing parts of the response to the Benghazi terror attack. In a statement, Senators Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain list "What We Do Not Know" about Benghazi:
The National Rifle Association has a new ad defending Republican senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire for her vote against the Toomey-Manchin gun control amendment.
"Seen this TV ad paid for by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg? Don't believe it," the voiceover says. "Kelly Ayotte voted for a bipartisan plan to make background checks more effective." Watch the NRA's ad below:
In a joint statement, four lawmakers urge President Obama to treat the Boston bombing suspect picked up last night in Watertown, Mass. as an “enemy combatant.” Here’s the joint statement, signed by Rep. Peter King, Senators Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham:
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte announces this morning that she will not support the Manchin-Toomey gun bill, which is supposed to be voted on today in the Senate. Instead, Ayotte says, she is supporting "the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act."
Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent thinks that Barack Obama's mandate that private insurers must provide free contraceptive and abortive drugs could split the GOP. But Sargent notes that two northeastern Republican senators, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Scott Brown of Massachusetts, both still firmly support a bill protecting the rights of conscience.
The boss this morning took the stage with Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Smiling, and in good cheer, the boss noted that he and Ayotte had a “tough act to follow—Vice President Rubio and Secretary of State Pawlenty.”
Four new Republican senators--Marco Rubio (Fla.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), and Pat Toomey (Penn.)--just concluded a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and senators Richard Burr (N.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) were on the trip as well.
The country's first primary state was hardly first with its returns last night, as glacial vote-counting in New Hampshire had Republican Senate candidates Kelly Ayotte and Ovide Lamontagne unsure of the outcome of their close race until this morning.