Tennessee lawmakers respond to Afghanistan plan

(Photo: WKRN)

Tennessee lawmakers are responding to President Donald Trump’s new strategy to fight the war in Afghanistan.

Congressman Steve Cohen

It has been said that, “Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.” Alexander the Great, the British Empire and the Soviet Union were all met with crushing military defeats in Afghanistan.”, said Cohen. “After sixteen years of war we have not made great progress because there have been issues of corruption in the Afghan Government and the Afghan people are ambivalent towards their government and towards the eventual outcome of the war. The President’s nuanced speech did not contain any element that makes me believe that we will be successful in Afghanistan. My thoughts are with the soldiers who were watching tonight’s speech and their fellow soldiers, some of whom will sacrifice their lives in what is a war without a likelihood of success. God bless our American troops.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker

I had the opportunity to talk with Secretary Tillerson in advance of this evening’s address, and while I look forward to receiving additional details, I support the direction President Trump laid out tonight for the U.S. role in Afghanistan,” said Corker. “While there are certainly substantial questions about whether Afghanistan has the capacity over time to provide stable governance to its people, this more focused plan provides the U.S. military with the flexibility it needs to help the Afghan military regain momentum. It also utilizes a conditions-based approach for our military, which should lead to better diplomatic outcomes, and ensures engagement with regional partners, especially Pakistan and India, giving us a better opportunity for success.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn

President Trump’s remarks tonight outlined a strategy that has been sorely missing in our fight against terrorism around the world. Setting conditions-based rather than time-based goals, the President has changed the rules of engagement to ensure that American leadership will result in an honorable and enduring outcome. I applaud the President’s commitment to listening to his military commanders, eradicating terror and ensuring the safety of the American people while understanding American might alone will not achieve these goals. The President laid out a measured and balanced approach that employs the economic, diplomatic, and military resources needed to get the job done once and for all.

Congressman Jim Cooper

President Trump reversed everything he has said about Afghanistan for the last 16 years. He broke his campaign promises on Afghanistan. This is his biggest U-turn so far of his presidency.

Congressman Scott DesJarlais 

As the president said, a political solution in Afghanistan is predicated on victory on the battlefield, not artificial timetables or other restraints on our troops that embolden the same enemies who attacked us on 9/11. Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and also ISIS gained important territory under the previous administration, but must never have a safe haven in Afghanistan, Pakistan or anywhere in the region. The results would be dire.  We have the best military, as well as strong allies who will help keep America safe and end the war with honor.