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Image 8 of The Winchester Sun March 14, 2012

Part of The Winchester Sun

THE WINCHESTER SUN A 8 — W E D N E S D AY, M A R C H 1 4 , 2 0 1 2 GOP, Dems urge US ‘stick to plan’ in Afghanistan Preparing for the future James Mann/jmann@winchestersun.com ommunity volunteer Treva Parks listens while Isaiah Riggs talks about career goals of either being a chef or a mechanic during the Operation Preparation at Conkwright Middle School Tuesday afternoon, top photo. Jonathan Osborne listens to Barbara Disney talk about his career goals for the future, right photo. C WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats alike insist the United States should stay the course in Afghanistan, sticking to President Barack Obama’s timetable for withdrawing American troops despite the massacre of Afghan civilians and the burning of Qurans — two offenses blamed on the U.S. military that have stoked anti-American anger. Key proponents of keeping troops in Afghanistan, like Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., say these tragic incidents shouldn’t diminish the American resolve to finish a job begun more than a decade ago. “When you look at the war through that terrible, violent act — it can seem hopeless and lost,” McKeon, the House Armed Services Committee chairman, said of the American soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children. “But the reason we liberated Afghanistan in 2001 was right then, and it is the same reason we fight today to keep it liberated.” McKeon’s argument for a continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan more than 10 years after the war began reflects the view of the nation’s military commanders and was echoed by several lawmakers, including the Senate’s top Democrat and Republican. Support for the current policy puts them at odds with two Republican presidential candidates — Newt Gingrich and Ron Towing Paul — and a growing number of Americans exasperated with the drawn-out conflict and clamoring for the 90,000 troops to come home. McKeon was scheduled to deliver his remarks in a speech Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks. The current U.S. plan calls for a drawdown of 23,000 American troops by the end of September and a complete withdrawal by the end of 2014, when Afghan forces are to take charge of the country’s security. After the burning of Qurans by U.S. soldiers last month, anti-U.S. protests and the killing of at least six U.S. troops by Afghan troops, 24 senators, including Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, wrote a letter to Obama arguing that U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan was too costly and it was time to bring American forces back. The massacre of the 16 Afghan civilians has prompted talk of accelerating the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said there has been no change in plans to complete a troop withdrawal by the end of 2014 and Obama has spoken of ending the war “responsibly.” Top lawmakers cautioned against a rush to judgment and embraced that approach. Recovery 267 Flanagan Station Road • Winchester, Kentucky 859-744-4488 We would like to say thanks to our loyal customers. “We know it won’t stay this clean forever! That’s why we’re here...” Let us make you proud. Stop in today! Receive 10% discount when you mention this ad. We OFFER synthetic oil and use Top Brand Tires & ALWAYS have Hometown Customer Service.

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