N.H. Senators Weigh In On Trump's New Strategy For Afghanistan

Aug 22, 2017

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s two Democratic U.S. Senators are weighing in on President Trump’s primetime address on the war in Afghanistan.

Trump said Monday night that while he remains frustrated with the long-running war in Afghanistan, he ruled out a sudden withdrawal of troops.

Trump said conditions on the ground would guide the nation’s strategy, as he is expected to deploy about 4,000 additional troops to the region. The President also harshly criticized Pakistan, which he accused of harboring terrorists, and called on India to do more to help in Afghanistan.

Senator Maggie Hassan said that while she appreciates the president acknowledged in his speech the importance of strong diplomatic engagement with South Asia, she called on him to reverse plans to severely cut the state department, "which would undermine our security interests."

"Our long-term focus must be on helping Afghan forces secure themselves and protect their own nation independently, and I will closely review the President's proposed strategy to determine if it can achieve these goals."

Senator Jeanne Shaheen said she supports the decision to maintain an American presence, but urged the president not to discount the value of U.S. diplomats and development professionals, as well as local Afghan and Coalition partners.

"Success in Afghanistan will be a sum of all these parts, and we have to ensure the strength of each," Shaheen said.