“My view is that the mission has to be very clear,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
“I believe it is not now,” Feinstein also said, “I don’t believe we can build a democratic state in Afghanistan. I believe it will remain a tribal entity.”
The California Democrat also said the White House should have a clear sense of how much longer troops would be in the country.
“I believe the mission should be time-limited, that there should be no, ‘Well, we’ll let you know in a year-and-a-half depending on how we do.’ I think the Congress is entitled to know, after Iraq, exactly how long are we going to be in Afghanistan.”
The mission for U.S. troops entails, in Feinstein’s view, clearing the Taliban and al Qaeda out of the country and training Afghan military and police forces.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, largely agreed with Feinstein. In addition to waiting for the release of a report about likely increases in troop levels from the top U.S. military commander on the ground, Shaheen said Congress should also wait on information relating to the benchmarks it has “mandated” from the White House for determining success of the mission in Afghanistan.
Compared to the two Democrats, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins sounded a more pessimistic tone.
Shaheen steps up for the environment.
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) – At a climate change rally held outside the statehouse, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen called for a renewed commitment to protecting the environment.
“Our quality of life is being affected by our failure to address global warming,” said Shaheen.
Shaheen discussed how climate change had already made a “tremendous impact” on the Granite State’s tourism industry and pointed to shorter snowfalls, changes in fall foliage and decreased maple sugar production.
Shaheen who is running for a U.S. senate seat in 2008 stated she would seek to reduce pollution that causes global warming and set an 80 percent reduction goal by the year 2050. Her plan includes economy wide emissions reduction, aggressive research and development and incentives for citizens to conserve.
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–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) - Just a few days after Jeanne Shaheen stepped down as head of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, the university announced Monday that former Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, has accepted an offer to be the institute's new director.
Leach takes over for Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor, who will challenge Sen. John Sununu, R-New Hampshire, in 2008. Leach has agreed to lead the institute for the next year until a permanent director is identified. The Iowa Republican was defeated in 2006 by Democratic challenger Dave Loebsack.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
Shaheen will make a bid for a New Hampshire Senate seat.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen is resigning her post with Harvard University to run against Sen. John Sununu in 2008, the school announced Friday morning.
Shaheen, a Democrat, and Sununu, a Republican, squared off in 2002 for the Senate seat that was held, at the time, by GOP Sen. Robert Smith. Sununu defeated Smith earlier that year in the Republican primary, and went on to defeat Shaheen in the general election by a 51 to 47 percent margin. As of now, Shaheen does not have a clear path to the nomination, because there are already a handful of Democratic candidates running for the seat.
In 2005, Shaheen was appointed director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.