California Congressman Opposes Obama-Karzai Partnership

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher Says Afghanistan Needs Decentralized Government, Blasts Obama for wasting resources.


California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, told Whispers he is disappointed in President Barack Obama's promise to invest in Afghanistan until 2024.

Rohrabacher says Obama's chained the U.S. to a country that won't ever stabilize under its current leadership. [More Republicans Support Rapid Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan]

"The president basically locked us in for spending more time in Afghanistan rather than setting a course for us to get out," Rohrabacher says. "He has kept the same old policy, which we cannot succeed with. A policy, which he was handed I might add, from the Bush administration."

The congressman says the price is simply too high to stay invested in Afghanistan.

"We are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars we are spending now," Rohrabacher says. "And we will continue to spend tens of billions of dollars after 2014. And not to mention we are losing the lives of our young people and accomplishing nothing for it. " [See a collection of political cartoons on Afghanistan.]

Rohrabacher is concerned that under current Afghan President Hamid Karzai's leadership, an extended stay won't stabilize Afghanistan, but only add to already simmering tensions.

"The longer our troops stay, the more we continue to alienate the Afghans," Rohrabacher said in a statement. "We should pull our troops out ASAP and arm the village militias and provide financial assistance to the tribal chiefs."

Rohrabacher has been a vocal opponent of Afghanistan's leadership, calling it a "corrupt clique" and advocating for a decentralized form of government to lead the country.

"If I would have been the one making the policy and writing the speech, I would have had the president announce that we were supporting a national dialogue in Afghanistan," Rohrabacher says. "We would be supportive of creating a new system that is more accountable and more consistent with Afghan culture."

Of course, Rohrabacher has been a long-time critic of the Afghan government, so much so that Karzai asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to stop him from entering Afghanistan in April just hours before the congressman was expected to meet with the Northern Alliance, a group that helped defeat the Taliban and is fighting for more power under Karzai.

  • See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.
  • Read the U.S. News debate: Should the U.S. Withdraw from Afghanistan Sooner?
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