U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Foreign Relations

Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the

following statement after President Obama's Announcement on Afghanistan:


U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the
following statement after President Obama's Announcement on Afghanistan:

"Progress made in Afghanistan should allow us to lighten our footprint in the
country, accelerate the shift in responsibility to Afghan forces and drawdown a
significant number of U.S. troops from the country.   After nearly ten years and a
high cost to our troops, their families and the federal budget, the U.S. should
shift its role in Afghanistan from a strategy of counterinsurgency towards an
increased focus on counterterrorism.

From my perspective, tonight's speech leaves some questions unanswered.  I have
particular concerns about the specifics of the President's plan including whether
this is the right balance to responsibly bring our troops home as fast as militarily
feasible. I will raise these issues tomorrow morning in a Senate Foreign Relations
Committee hearing with Secretary Clinton and in conversations with military
commanders and our civilian leadership when I visit the region later this year."