Posted: May 26, 2011 9:41 PM by Mark Holyoak (KPAX News)
Updated: May 26, 2011 9:45 PM
WASHINGTON DC - Following the death of Osama bin Laden, Senator Max Baucus called on President Obama to bring American troops home from Afghanistan.
"The U.S. should not be doing the work that Afghans should be doing for themselves," said Baucus. "The Afghans need to stand up and take responsibility for the security of their own country."
Baucus called for three changes in strategy. He called on US troops to return home by the end of next year. He also said the focus should be on fighting terrorism--not nation building. Baucus said the American focus should shift to Pakistan because that is where most terrorist threats originate.
"Yet it is no secret that Pakistan plays a double game. And Osama bin Laden's hideout location raises serious questions. I recently called upon Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton to take a hard look at whether Pakistan is doing enough to find and kill terrorists in its own country. I will not support providing funding to Pakistan until I review this assessment. "
Baucus said more than 1,200 trooped died in Afghanistan and more than 11,500 suffered injuries. He said nine Montanans died and 50 more suffered injuries while fighting in Afghanistan.
"The death of Osama bin Laden marks a turning point in history. We must take advantage of this opportunity to chart a new course in Afghanistan," said Baucus.