House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Tuesday signaled that the Obama Administration is now wrestling with Afghanistan because of a “failure to focus” by the Bush Administration.
“This is an effort that frankly, we should have succeeded on years ago,” said Hoyer. “We took our eye off the ball. We under-resourced that effort.”
Hoyer joins both Democratic and Republican leaders at the White House later today to discuss future strategy in Afghanistan with President Obama.
“We need to make a determination on what we need to do,” Hoyer said.
Mr. Obama is struggling with calls to add more troops to quash uprisings which made the mountainous, tribal country a breeding ground for terrorism prior to September 11th. One of the president’s main foreign policy goals was to shift the military’s focus from Iraq to Afghanistan.
During a briefing with reporters, Hoyer would not tip his hand on the course of action he thought President Obama should take.
“I don’t want to be flip. But I intend to give my advice to the president,” Hoyer said when asked what he might tell Mr. Obama. “This is a very, very thorny issue.”
U.S. and allied troops invaded Afghanistan eight years go Wednesday to ferret out terrorists, close terrorist training camps and rid the country of the Taliban. The Taliban is a religious and political movement which seized control of much of Afghanistan starting in 1996.