Boehner: Obama Is Out of ‘Excuses’ in Delaying Afghanistan Troop Decision

Now Abdullah Abdullah has dropped out of the Afghan presidential race, handing the election over to Hamid Karzai for another five-year term, lawmakers are urging President Obama to finalize his overhaul of America’s war strategy.
November 02, 2009

President Obama has run out of “excuses” for delaying a decision on whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, House Minority Leader John Boehner said Monday after Afghan President Hamid Karzai was declared the winner of his nation’s presidential election by default.

Obama administration officials had suggested that a decision on American troop levels should be withheld until Afghanistan’s runoff election was over. But now that Karzai’s challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, has dropped out of the race and handed the election over to Karzai for another five-year term, lawmakers are urging the U.S. president to finalize his overhaul of America’s war strategy.

“Now that it is clear that President Karzai will remain in office, the White House has no further pretext for delaying the decision on giving General McChrystal the resources he needs to achieve our goals in Afghanistan,” Boehner said in a statement Monday. “There are no more excuses.”

Though a fizzled runoff in Afghanistan was not the outcome the White House wanted, administration officials held to their slow-and-steady approach to reviewing war policy when questioned about Abdullah’s exit on Sunday. Senior Adviser David Axelrod said Obama would make a decision “within weeks,” and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that a strategy decision will be made in the “coming weeks.”

Advisers said the review would not be altered by the latest twist in Afghanistan’s election process, which has been marred by widespread allegations of fraud since the first election in August.

But even some Democratic lawmakers said Monday it’s time to bring the decision-making to a close.

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