Hawaii delegation reacts to president's strategy on Afghanistan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii delegation reacts to president's strategy on Afghanistan

Sen. Daniel Inouye Sen. Daniel Inouye
Sen. Daniel Akaka Sen. Daniel Akaka
Rep. Mazie Hirono Rep. Mazie Hirono
Rep. Neil Abercrombie Rep. Neil Abercrombie

WASHINGTON (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii's congressional delegation reacted Tuesday afternoon to President Obama's strategy speech on Afghanistan.  In an address delivered at the US Military Academy at West Point, Obama outlined his plans, which include a decision to send 30,000 more combat troops into Afghanistan.

Senator Daniel Inouye sat in on pre-address briefing and said afterward via Facebook "I support the President's plan and I left the briefing convinced that he had presented a good, workable strategy and that it should be supported by all Members of Congress.

"I believe our ultimate goal is to leave Afghanistan with security and governance in place that can successfully carry on the activities of a sovereign nation. It would be ill-advised to suddenly leave Afghanistan knowing that chaos would follow."

Inouye also acknowledged that the costs of the war are causing a rift among some members of Congress.

"I look forward to discussing how we will fund this strategy with my colleagues in the House and Senate… we must also be cognizant of the current economic condition and the cost that taxpayers will bear as a result of a major increase in war funding."

Hawaii's junior senator, Daniel Akaka, also struck a balanced tone in his remarks.

"I know this was a difficult decision for the President to make. We all want to bring our troops home as soon as possible, but Al Qaeda is a serious threat to our country. At the same time, we cannot have an open-ended commitment burdening our troops and depleting our resources."

Representative Mazie Hirono, who visited Afghanistan several weeks ago, was more cautious.

"I do have concerns about what we can realistically achieve with 30,000 additional troops. When we met with President Karzai, I stressed that the American people need reassurance through his actions that he would be a reliable partner. The American people and the Congress will now have an opportunity to fully examine this strategy and its costs."

Representative Neil Abercrombie, who was en route to Hawaii from Washington when the speech was delivered, wished to withhold comment until after the speech was delivered issued a statement earlier Tuesday.

"We need to differentiate between supporting our troops and the policy and strategic implications.  They will be dealt with in due time.  What needs to be emphasized now is our complete support for the troops."

Powered by Frankly