I certainly didn’t see this coming.
The article has more from Levin than from DiFi, but it also tosses in McGrahamCain to balance it out. Below are the parts with DiFi and Levin quotes.
This seems like a big deal to me, as until now there has been zero comment from any influential Dems saying we need more troops there. Ike Skelton has taken McChrystal’s side, but he is nowhere near the status of Feinstein.
“I’m saying at this time, don’t send more combat troops,” said Levin, D-Mich., who wants the emphasis to be on strengthening Afghanistan’s own security forces so they can bear a greater share of the security burden.
“We didn’t have the ability to defend them (re last week’s deadly attack), and now the base is closing, and effectively we’re retreating away from it,” she said.
“He also says deliberate,” Levin said of McChrystal’s review. “Take the right amount of time to think this thing through. And he also says that what is even more important than numbers is the resolve.”
McChrystal’s request, while important, is only one piece of what Obama has to consider, Levin said.
The eventual plan needs to includes more U.S. trainers to make Afghan security forces more effective, Levin said. There also needs to be a way to persuade Taliban fighters to switch sides, he said, calling the current shortage of Afghan forces is an “Achilles’ heel.”
“The surge that will really work in Afghanistan is a surge of Afghan troops,” Levin said.