The revelation from her party leader, President Barack Obama, that ending the war in Afghanistan will involve leaving about 10,000 U.S. troops there through 2016 does not sit well with Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).
"Our troops have been in Afghanistan for over 10 years," says the senior member of the House Armed Services Committee in a statement her office released Wednesday. "They have fought, they have protected and they have trained. Despite thousands of lives and billions of dollars, the situation is not changing. Our soldiers are tired and it's time for them to come home. Staying until 2016 will not tip the scales in Afghanistan. It's time to end this war and bring our troops home."
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Other members of Congress representing other parts of Orange County have their minds on other parts of the Middle East. In reaction to Obama announcing at West Point Wednesday that with the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan in sight, he will re-shift his administration's focus to terror hot spots like Yemen, Somalia, Mali, Libya and Syria, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) released a statement of his own.
"I welcome the new focus on Syria," says the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "This will require sustained U.S. engagement, which has been absent to date, but that this national security threat demands. Like elsewhere around the globe, the president has been late in responding to this crisis."
For Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), the focus is on Pakistan. He recently led members of the House in introducing an amendment to the defense spending bill that makes military aid to Pakistan contingent on the release of Dr. Shahid Afridi, who was arrested for helping the U.S. find Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. Rohrabacher also introduced a second amendment stipulating that Pakistan's government could not use U.S. funds to persecute minority groups, including Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis.