Delaware’s Sen. Kaufman praises Obama Afghan buildup plan

    De. U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman believes the Obama administration has a good plan for Afghanistan. He will testify to that effect as well.

    U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) is calling President Barack Obama’s new surge-and-exit strategy in Afghanistan a “bold” plan.

    But a day after Obama outlined his strategy to send 30,000 additional troops and then start bringing them home in July, 2011, Kaufman says he’s got a lot of questions.

    He’ll have the opportunity to ask those questions Thursday when he’s scheduled to take part in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

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    Kaufman, who’ll address a panel that includes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, says his questions concern the Karzai government and Afghan troops.

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    “That’s going to be the thrust of my questions,” Kaufman said. “How does this work with the present government so we can get rid of the corruption and get control back in the hands of the local leaders? And the second question is can we really train enough Afghan troops so they can partner with the United States and we can have a successful strategy?”

    While some have criticized Obama’s setting of a date for troop withdrawals to begin, Kaufman says it sets a firm timetable for the Karzai government.

    “Because on July, 2011 it’s gonna be your country,” he said.

    Kaufman also does not think there is a scenario where Obama could go back on his word regarding troop withdrawal.

    “I think that when a president of the United States says a date is certain for an event to happen, it usually happens.”

    The administration says July, 2011 is when troops will start coming home but is not an “end date” for the war.

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