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Reed on Afghanistan

The New York Times has a piece today on doubts, within the Democratic Party, about the wisdom of a possible troop buildup in Afghanistan. Senator Carl Levin, influential chairman of the Armed Services Committee, is most prominently featured, arguing that the US must do more to train and equip Afghan forces before committing additional troops to the troubled war effort.

But Jack Reed, also influential on military matters, stakes out a different position. He agrees that the US must speed up training and equipment, but is more circumspect about a buildup:

Mr. Reed said he was waiting for the analysis by General McChrystal on possible troop increases before making up his mind. “What the president has to do is continually point to the fact that Al Qaeda is operating in the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said. “Given the chance to reconstitute themselves and operate in those border spaces, they’ll pose a threat to the United States.”

Amid declining public support for the war, though, pursuing a buildup could prove near impossible - whatever the wisdom of the move. 

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