November 29th, 2009
01:51 PM ET
12 years ago

Republican: Afghan gov't not a reliable partner right now

Washington (CNN) – Just days before President Obama is expected to announce his plan to send tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday that the Afghan government currently is not a reliable partner in the American effort to build up Afghan security forces.

After Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar mentioned an ambitious plan to train 134,000 Afghan security forces in a year, which is expected to be part of President Obama’s larger Afghan strategy rolled out to the nation Tuesday evening, CNN Chief National Correspondent John King asked Lugar whether the Afghan government is up to the task of meeting the demands the Obama administration is expected to place on Kabul.

“Do you trust the other side of the equation?,” King asked Lugar on State of the Union. Do we have a reliable partner in the Afghan government?’

“For the moment, we don't have a reliable partner,” Lugar bluntly replied. “If the training occurs, will the government really take hold? We don't know, frankly,” Lugar also said Sunday.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that concerns about the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai should not impede President Obama’s reported plan to send roughly 30,000 additional U.S. troops to the war torn country.

“We have to, I believe, increase our forces - first, our trainers, which is consensus to do that - but also some of our brigade combat teams to give us the time and also to seize the initiative from the Taliban so that the Karzai administration can begin to carry through some of its commitments,” Lugar told King, “They made commitments left and right. Now they have to carry those commitments through.”

Reed added that the Afghan forces who have been successfully trained and who are operating on the battlefield have a reputation for being “actually very good fighters.”

“But we need more of those units, more of those small units,” Reed added, “It will take some time. But the effort here really is to stabilize the situation and insist that the government of Afghanistan begin to perform. And I think the other effort is begin to, at the local level, have effective governance.”

“That is something we're going to have to insist upon,” Reed also said Sunday, “And part of our commitment and part of the president's speech [Tuesday about Afghanistan] will be to communicate the fact that we have these understandings and that they're enforceable.”

Filed under: Afghanistan • Dick Lugar • Jack Reed • State of the Union
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. S M R

    This is Ridiculous: The Republican's say send troops NOW (Quit dithering) and now they (Question the President's stance)? Nothing like talking out of both sides of their mouth huh?

    November 29, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. not alone

    So they(Afgan goverment) was reliable for the 8 years bush feed them our hard earned dollers?Give me a feakin break and get to work fixin the problems instead of expanding them.

    November 29, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Debbie

    I don't think anyone thinks Afganistan will be a reliable partner.

    But we wouldn't even be in this situation if Bush wouldn't have taken his eye off of Osama and let him slip by. Instead he was swayed by Cheney to get mideast oil.

    I don't blame Obama for this mess. I vividly remember Bush at ground zero after 911 saying he would get who did this to America.

    So no...Afganistan wasn't reliable then and not reliable now...but those are the cards Obama was dealt...

    November 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. B

    Trying to succeed with a totally corrupt government in Afghanistan is not going to work..We have been down this road before!

    November 29, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. Jack

    Never mind the Afgahan government being a reliable partner, the republican party is not being a reliable partner in our current war on terror.

    Almost every republican politician spends nearly every day critizing the President while he's trying his best to lead us out of this mess in Afghanistan that sat on the republican back burner for 8 years while they chased after oil profits in Iraq!

    November 29, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Joe

    Oh I believe the Republicans for saying the Afghan government is not reliable. But then why sending troops in harms way?. The Iraqi Government wasn't reliable either, and we send troops and the casualties mounted. We need to stay out of there, and let them all kill each others. They have been doing for over thousands of years. Something to be concerned of, is local terrorism, like that Major in Ft Hood Texas. It didn't matter if he did for an Iman, or for someone a thousand miles away from here, he did it, and he ought to be brought to justice. Even if it takes to hang him sitting in his wheelchair. And that's how you win over terrorism, not by sending troops abroad to a country where the law of the land is still handle with a whip.

    November 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Jack

    There would be no war in Afghanistan if the Bush administration fully persued Bin Laden and the Taliban in Tora Bora back in 2001.

    The republican party has no standing on how to conduct a war that they boched so badly for 8 years.

    November 29, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. They call me "tater salad"

    Isn't it refreshing to know that this was a Government that was "ENDORSED" by the Republican Party and the Bush administation in the beginning? Let's see those Junior High, educated, welfare collecting, Springer watching, trailer trash, dope smoking, leaches of society, "righty's" try to spin this one without lying.....................Bet they can't do it!!!!!!

    November 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. VON BISMARK -Vienna

    And you will still support troop surge there Sen.Lugar?

    November 29, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |