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Legion supports troop surge, opposes timelines

The American Legion is praising President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, but is troubled by some reports that the administration might set artificial timelines for withdrawal.

"The American Legion is opposed to any exit strategy that takes place before the mission in Afghanistan is accomplished," National Commander Clarence Hill said. "To do otherwise would more correctly be called a ‘surrender strategy' to which the Legion would be opposed."

Hill said the 30,000 additional troops that President Obama reportedly will send to Afghanistan are a step in the right direction. "As I said back in September, I would have liked for him to send the 40,000 that Gen. Stanley McChrystal requested, but at least the president is not heeding the call by many in Washington to scale down our efforts," Hill said. "The best way to address the extremely high demands that we are placing on our military heroes is to increase our overall military troop levels, a policy that the Legion has advocated since long before the war on terrorism started."

In October, The American Legion unanimously passed Resolution 1, which states, in part, "The American Legion fully supports the men, women and leadership of our armed forces as they are engaged in the global war on terrorism..." Although supportive of the military leadership, The American Legion was reminded that special weight must be given to the commanders in theater.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The American Legion National Convention that the war cannot be won from the Pentagon. "You have to be there," he said. "You have to see and hear firsthand what the issues are. You can't hope to see problems through someone else's eyes if you aren't looking into those eyes."

"We wholeheartedly agree with Adm. Mullen on this point," Hill said.


  1. I approve of the surge. I am also glad the President took the time to "plan" and exit strategy with a "planned" timetable. I disagree with those that think this part is bad. It's simply a "planned" timetable and is changeable depending on circumstances at the time. It also also mandates to the Afgans and Pakistanis that we will not be there forever and for them to get with it or we may leave. Any good military op always has a plan. If it isn't working, it changes. Anyone serving in the military.
  2. I'm glad President Obama finally made up his mind about sending more troops to Afghanistan. Now it's time to turn the Military loose and let them do the job they were sent there to do. Don't tie their hands so they can not win!
  3. I support the troop surge, but believe there are too many restrictions on our troops. Just let them do there jobs it is war and war is hell. These Marines, Army soldiers and others are just that Not policemen or policewomen.
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