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Article: Liberals to Host Forum Questioning Obama's Afghan Policy (Roll Call)

Liberals to Host Forum Questioning Obama’s Afghan Policy

By Jennifer Bendery
Roll Call Staff
April 17, 2009, 3:40 p.m.
http://www.rollcall.com/news/34048-1.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

At a time when House Democratic leaders are looking to spend tens of billions more dollars on military operations in Afghanistan, liberal lawmakers on Tuesday are holding a forum to examine whether more troops should be dispatched to the region.

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are hosting the forum, which is open to the public and the third in a series on Afghanistan, to question the goals of the military and discuss whether President Barack Obama’s plan to add 10,000 more troops will help or hurt the region.

The 90-minute forum is taking place the same week that House Democratic leaders are hoping to advance an $83.4 billion spending bill to cover military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speakers at the Progressive Caucus event will include a retired general who has been critical of the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq, a former United Nation’s adviser in Afghanistan, a director of a non-profit focused on conflict and peace, and an author who chronicled his journey walking across Afghanistan.

Questions being addressed include whether there is a better alternative to using the military to support the region, whether the administration needs to seek international authorization to beef up the military force and whether a bigger military presence could unintentionally lead to greater insurgency.