Senate Democrats

Reid: Troubling Afghanistan Report Reiterates Urgent Need To Refocus Counterterrorism Resources

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to a report sponsored by the nonpartisan Center for the Study of the Presidency, concluding that Afghanistan could fail as a state as violence there grows while international support declines:

“Today’s warning that Afghanistan may fall into a failed state as Al Qaeda grows stronger is unsettling, but unsurprising.  The conclusions by Marine Corps Gen. James Jones and former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering reiterate how urgently we must refocus our resources on the real home of Al Qaeda.  The President has taken his eye off the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 while spending over $300 billion more on an Iraqi civil war.

“Democrats have consistently reminded the President and Bush Republicans that the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region – and not Iraq – always should have been and should continue to be the real epicenter of our efforts to combat terrorism and make America more secure.  Meanwhile, violence in Afghanistan has increased to levels not seen since 2001, growing numbers of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters have crossed into the country, Osama bin Laden remains at large more than six years after 9/11 and our military is ill-equipped to handle new crises around the world.  We will continue to press the President to work with us to better address the real threats facing our nation.”