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25 June 2017 14:27 (South Africa)

Obama cabinet starts to sell the new Afghan plan: first stop, US Senate

The day after Barack Obama made his case to the nation – and the world – for a new approach in Afghanistan, Obama administration senior officials fanned out to make the case more thoroughly. First out of the box were Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen in appearances on Capitol Hill. Gates made the case that Afgghan failure would “have severe consequences for the United States and the world.” Senators (at least the Democratic party ones) were pretty tough on the trio. Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin said, for example,  “It seems to me that the large influx of U.S. combat troops will put more U.S. Marines on street corners in Afghan villages, with too few Afghan partners alongside them.” The Obama adminstration faces an uphill effort to gain enthusiastic support from its own party’s senators and representatives, even as Republican members are more likely to support the military aspects – but challenge the withdrawal timeline.  Analysts say Congress will ultimately go along with budgetary support, even as they hold their noses. For more, read the New York Times, the AP

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