Lawmakers Press Obama on Afghan Concerns

Rising Costs, Lack of Timetable Among Litany of Concerns

Lawmakers from both parties used the Sunday news shows to pressure President Barack Obama regarding their lofty expectations and growing concerns about the war in Afghanistan, just two days before the President lays out his escalation plan publicly.

Chief among the concerns seems to be the cost of the escalation. The Obama Administration has put the estimate at $1 million per year, per person. House Democrats have been angling for a new income tax aimed specifically at paying for the war.

But Senators also expressed concerns about the reliability of the Afghan government and the growing unpopularity of the war. Incredibly, some also seemed irked by White House suggestions that the war was going to eventually end, insisting that commitment to continuing the war virtually forever would be a better strategy.

Pressuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai to do more about corruption, which is to say do anything at all about corruption, seems to be a general consensus, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown wasted no time in issuing a series of demands today to Karzai, telling him to fix the military, train 50,000 more troops, and tackle corruption. No word yet if Karzai had any response to the demands, but he has promised to tackle corruption on a virtually daily basis for the past several weeks.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.