Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement tonight after President Obama announced his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Senator Gillibrand, who is one of seven co-sponsors of the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act, traveled to Afghanistan in November of last year to meet with military commanders and troops in the field.
“I want to thank President Obama for speaking directly to the American people tonight about the ongoing war in Afghanistan. However, I believe that we must step back and review our Afghanistan policy in the context of our overall national security. Shifting brigades alone is not the answer.
“Ending the surge in 2012 with a disappointing 10,000 combat troops coming home this year is not good enough. As I have advocated for months, it is time to shift course in Afghanistan to a counter-terrorism mission, with an aggressive drawdown of combat troops. In the decade since the start of this war, al Qaeda has metastasized, expanding and strengthening its influence across the globe. We have seen that counter-terrorism works best in countering al Qaeda.”