Monday, November 02, 2009

Skelton: Flawed Afghan Election Shows Need For Reform

Congressman Ike Skelton continued to push President Obama to embrace General Stanley McChrystal's counter insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and said the recent flawed election reinforced the need for reforms in the unstable country.


"Although the election in Afghanistan was deeply flawed and filled with uncertainty, we now have an outcome and can begin to move forward. The legitimacy and efficacy of the Afghan government are critical for our efforts there as well as for their own future, and it is imperative that President Karzai work quickly to address these points. President Karzai should make a compact, with input from the Afghan people, about improving effective governance and eliminating corruption within the national government. Once the people of Afghanistan have decided what is important to them, the U.S. and international community should both help support those efforts and help hold the Karzai government accountable for his promises.

"I continue to believe that General McChrystal's counter insurgency plan is the right approach, including his call to build capability at the local level. The recent flawed election process has reinforced the need to also push for the reform of the national Afghan government, to increase legitimacy and help build a capable partner for our efforts in Afghanistan. Pursuing al Qaeda and ensuring that its members can't use Afghanistan as a safe haven is a vital national security interest for the U.S., and a minimally functioning and legitimate Afghan government is an important part of that effort."

MSNBC notes that Skelton's comments echoed the words of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner on the issue.

President Obama spoke with Hamid Karzai for about 10 minutes Monday and told the president he needs to improve his efforts towards reform.
ALSO: 7th District Candidate Wardell Weighs In

"The president's indecisiveness, ostensibly because he was awaiting the Afghan presidential election result, is only emboldening the terrorists and further endangering our young men and women in harm's way," said Michael Wardell in a statement. "Our soldiers and Marines have not wavered in places like Helmand province and the president should not waver in executing his duties as Commander-In-Chief. I am appalled at the manner in which this president chooses to lead."

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