Sen. Kerry: Afghanistan war at a 'historic transition point'
June 23rd, 2011
11:14 AM ET
3 years ago

Sen. Kerry: Afghanistan war at a 'historic transition point'

(CNN) – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said Thursday that President Barack Obama was able to outline the next phase of America's strategy in Afghanistan "from a position of strength."

The U.S. mission in Afghanistan is at a "historic transition point" because U.S. forces have met their major goals there, the Massachusetts Democrat said.

We have "significantly disrupted" al Qaeda and diminished its presence, Kerry said. The death of Osama bin Laden was the "capstone" of America's original mission, he noted.

"No number of troops will resolve" the lingering problems in Afghanistan, Kerry said. At this point, a political solution is required, he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Thursday that the war in Afghanistan has declined in terms of strategic importance and that the United States should now focus more on countries such as Pakistan and Yemen.


Filed under: Afghanistan • John Kerry • Richard Lugar
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    This whole withdrawal plan has the stink of Vietnam all over again. Negotiating with terrorists (or communists) and then declaring victory and leaving, only to have the country overrun and tens of thousands of people killed. I guess Obama has no problem with this possibility. He certainly seems to have a problem with it in Libya. I guess he doesn't care as long as it isn't on his watch. This is a horrendous POLITICAL DECISION to please his leftist base before the 2012 election. I'm sure his generals can see this as well. This fools really does have to be removed in 2012.

    June 23, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Ed Texas

    It's way past time to get out of Afghanistan. All the money spent in Afghanistan easily be put to good use in our own country.

    June 23, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Why the long face, John?

    June 23, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Afganistan/Pakistan are huge messes. While it is obvious that this whole issue could have been resolved if Bush had not taken his eye off the ball and gone into Iraq that is not what happened. Since America continues to have a weak Congress and not actually vote and declare war that means it is officially a conflict. That game has been used since the Korea Conflict that we have today. It's time to realize war is not only a political game but an economic game. Afganistan and Pakistan will continue to say they will work with us AND take our $$ but they never have nor will do so. Time to cut the $$ to these places as the result will be the same. It's not only a waste of $$, time, effort, etc but it has been a waste of American bloodshed. Generals always will want to stay in the game as that is their business/job. Our national security interest right now is jobs for Americans. Either corporations/Congress bring jobs back home or American's revolt against a government who is now a tyrant. Either way it is an issue of American security.

    June 23, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Hometown Postville

    As an "ordinary American", I would love to see our involvement in ALL war as well as "peace-keeping efforts" in other countries ended asap and defense funds directed back to the homefront where they belong. No big announcements, no politics, no delays, just get the planes lined up and bring them home to their families. No more blown off limbs, paraplegia, PTSD, or strange debilitating illnesses denied for decades by the government. Let's take care of our own and send troops overseas only as needed per United Nations counsel or natural catastrophe.Rebuilding our ailing infrastructure would put millions back to work for years. But since our political infrastructure is just as broken and no longer reflective of the constitution or desires of the people, this would never happen. As long as large corporations and speculators rule, benefiting from manipulation of natural resources and supplies, there will always be an excuse to invade other countries and remain"at war." Not the Republicans, the Democrats, the Tea Party or any other political group is going to change this. You are only fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Anyone paying taxes, including those of us working 2-3 jobs, living paycheck to paycheck are funding this fiasco. Yeah, I can already hear the military-minded come-backs about the need for "protection from impending terrorism." But if you do your homework, you will realize that our politically censored media is responsible for much of that fear propaganda. With all our troops at home, how could we, supposedly the most powerful and technologically advanced nation in the world fear or be unable to successfully deflect such attacks? Anyone else out there feel the same? What kind of alternative exists? God be with us as we struggle for answers!

    June 23, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. JB

    Genius !!"Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country!! you sold your soul to the communist longtime ago! by the way the key- pad you are using now "MADE IN CHINA" what you are calling horrendous political decision is called common sense!! please remove your head from the ass of so called fox news did I say news? sorry I meant the Red States communist propaganda noise machine aka fix news!!. Get real

    June 23, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    I totally agree with president decision bring our troops

    Taliban citizen of Afghanistan now Taliban must put the arms down and participate in democratic process

    We went to Afghanistan to destroy Al-Qaeda we killed Osama Bin laden

    Now time to start negotiation between Afghan government and Taliban

    June 23, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. edog

    Hey Democrat Class Warfare!

    And what about Vietnam... seems like they are doing fine. Do you realize their economy has been doing very well over the last 2 years! They are not an enemy of the US and do not present a clear and present danger. The focus must be on the terrorist and I 100% trust the man who kill BIn Ladin then the dude who let him go to fight a personal war.

    You must be the same guy who says that the deficit must be cut, but don't care about the 10's of Billions spent on wars. You must be the same guy who says hands of my Government run Medicare but stop the government take over of Obamacare. You must be the same guy who agreed with Dick that deficits don't matter 5 years ago, but today talking about how the debt is destroying the economy. You must be the same guy who complains about gas prices, but does not agree with building new and modern transit systems.

    June 23, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. B

    We need to get out of Afghanistan now and direct these War Funds to Saving This Country before trying to set-up Democracies all ver the mideast!

    We are going down the path that Bin Laden intended. We are bleeding to death and if we choose to continue to ignore the obvious, we might just find ourselves in a place that we cannot recover from ! This Democracy is more important than theirs right now!

    June 23, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Tulsa

    Fair is Fair/ Four and the Door,
    Nice, anything to add to the discussion, or are you just a bomb thrower? Still.
    Dem Class Warfare,
    Aren't most of the TP'rs demanding a bigger withdrawl too? So are you saying the Tes Party should shut up and go home too? Or just the guy who actually has to balance the economy, overseas interests and the safety of our nation?
    You make REAL AMERICANS sick.

    June 23, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Thursday that the war in Afghanistan has declined in terms of strategic importance and that the United States should now focus more on countries such as Pakistan and Yemen.
    =================================================================================================
    Lugar is senile. We need to go after them WHEREVER they are. Does he honestly think they won't return to Afghanistan after we leave if the Afghan government is too weak to defend the country. Will he favor returning there in 10 years? Oh yeah, he'll be long gone and it'll be somebody elses problem.

    And the drones that go after the enemy in Pakistan fly out of Bagram. Just how do we maintain the drone flights if we pack up and leave before the job is done?

    These politicians are looking more at popularity polls than wants needs to get done. A lack of staying power is EXACTLY what the Taliban has counted on. Thanks to Obama and idiots like Lugar they will get their wish.

    June 23, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. john

    Afghanistan war at a 'historic transition point' true Obama is making it a FAILURE !

    June 23, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |