Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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Himes Statement on Vote Against Removing Troops from Afghanistan in 30 Days

March 10, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the House of Representatives defeated House Concurrent Resolution 248 offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) by a vote of 356 to 65. The privileged resolution would have directed the President to remove all American troops stationed in Afghanistan in the next 30 days, unless the President deemed such action to be unsafe.

Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) voted against the resolution. While Himes believes American involvement in Afghanistan should come to a decisive and successful end as soon as possible, he believes forcing withdrawal in 30-days would put America’s security severely at risk. While a 30-day withdrawal might technically be possible, it would mean the near immediate departure of all American troops without the time or resources to save the billions-worth of military equipment currently stationed in Afghanistan. Additionally, America’s Pakistani and Afghan anti-terrorism allies have made significant progress in recent weeks, and a sudden departure could undermine this improvement.

“I, as much as anyone, want to make sure we have a robust plan in place to bring our troops home as soon as possible and having accomplished their mission,” said Himes. “But it is unreasonable to put our security at risk simply to meet an arbitrarily short withdrawal deadline and irresponsible to walk away from our Afghan and Pakistani allies just as we see them engaging meaningfully.”