I supported the use of force in Afghanistan as a necessary and justified reaction to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I have advocated vigorous oversight of the war effort, including committee investigations into the treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan detainees and into the use of private security contractors in Afghanistan.
I support President Obama’s decision to focus on the transition of security responsibility to Afghanistan’s security forces, a decision that includes bringing home 10,000 U.S. troops by the end of 2011, and the remaining 23,000 U.S. surge forces by September of 2012. The President’s decision keeps the pressure on Afghan leaders to assume more and more responsibility for their security, just as the establishment of a date to begin reductions had the effect of creating a sense of urgency on the part of the Afghan government to take responsibility for Afghanistan’s security.
Senator Levin’s Record on Afghanistan
- Jan. 10, 2012 – Levin releases summary debunking false claims on detainee provisions
Sen. Levin releases a summary of provisions on detention of terror suspects in the National Defense Authorization Act and explains that a number of public criticisms of the provisions misstate their impact.
- Oct. 21, 2011 – Levin calls on Pakistan to act against extremists
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Sen. Levin says Pakistan must act to combat extremist groups that use its territory to launch attacks against NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. "If Pakistan will not take on the threat posed by the Haqqanis and other extremist groups based in Pakistan who attack our forces in Afghanistan, then we should be prepared to take steps to defend our troops," he says.
- June 22, 2011 - Sen. Levin supports beginning draw-down in Afghanistan
Sen. Levin supports President Obama's decision to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan after the president announces he will withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops by the end of 2011 and another 23,000 September 2012. In a statement, Sen. Levin says: "The president’s decision represents a positive development, although in my view the conditions on the ground justify an even larger drawdown of U.S. troops this year than the president announced tonight. I will continue to advocate for an accelerated drawdown in the months ahead, and for enhanced training and partnering with Afghan forces, because only they can provide durable security for their nation."
- June 17, 2011 - Sen. Levin leads Senate Armed Services Committee through successful markup of defense bill
Sen. Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, guided the committee through the markup of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. "For the 50th consecutive year, the committee reported out a bill that supports the men and women of the armed forces and provides them with the resources, training, and equipment they need to accomplish their missions," Levin said. Read more.
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