Glens Falls, NY, Feb 19, 2010 — Congressman Scott Murphy returned from a two-day trip to Afghanistan saying a plan is in place to win the war there. Martha Foley has more.
There is consistency in understanding that, that will we not win this battle militarily, we will not win this battle by kicking every member of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but we need to turn the tide so people realize that the Taliban are not winning and that we and the Afghan government are winning. And then we need to hand this off to the Afghan government.
Murphy said civilian casualities like those suffered in recent air strikes are "bad for the mission". But he said he saw improvements in agriculture and education in the war-torn country that are helping the United States win over local people.
Murphy said the mission in Afghanistan was underfunded over the last 8 years.
We didn't have enough civilian personnel. We didn't have enough military personnel. We didn't have the resources we needed. And what I heard consistently was the resources that are being provided now are giving people what they need to be able to get the job done.
Murphy sits on the House Armed Services committee. He'll face a challenge in November from one five Republicans who are vying for the GOP nomination. One is retiring Army Colonel Christopher Gibson of ColumbiaCounty.
Asked by a reporter if part of his trip to Afghanistan was to burnish his military credentials, Murphy said "absolutely not."
There are actually soldiers and airmen from our district in particular that are serving over there, and while I've been in Congress, there have been people that have been killed from the 20th district, so this is very serious stuff and I take it very seriously.
Two National Guard companies - from Buffalo and from Walton, outside Binghamton - were recently given deployment orders to Afghanistan. Almost 5000 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum are starting a year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan.