April 15th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

U.S. senator: 'I'm not confident' on Afghanistan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed doubt in the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan Thursday, saying, "I'm not confident it's going to work."

In an interview that aired Thursday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," the five-term Nevada senator said, "The president has indicated as commander-in-chief he is going to start drawing down the forces this summer."

Reid also noted the $100 billion the country is spending, calling it a "huge amount of money" that the nation "cannot continue to keep dumping" into the Afghanistan war.

Sharing his respect for Gen. David Petraeus, commander of coalition forces, Reid said, "I've talked to General Petraeus...and he thinks things are going well."

"I hope it's going well," he continued. "But the American people have a ... very short attention span."

Filed under: Obama • Withdrawing troops
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Greg Kienzle

    Is this a change of heart for Senator Reid, or has he felt this way for the last 10 years we’ve been at war? Has the plan changed? Are we at risk of failing to achieve our objectives? Have the objectives been identified? What is our end state? How does our commitment to NATO in Libya affect our strategy in Afghanistan? The military has demonstrated superior competence in determining these conditions for themselves as one of many options at the government’s disposal. What is the position of the civilian leadership within the US Government? What is being done to influence the situation from a whole of government perspective?
    A hundred billion dollars per year is a lot of money by itself. However, compare it to the rest of the annual budget and it is a relatively small amount. The government spent $3.5 trillion in 2010. Only $2.2 trillion was financed by federal taxes. That means we borrowed $1.3 trillion for government spending. Spending on Social Security ($707 billion) topped Defense ($705 billion) by $2 billion. Furthermore, healthcare programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP) received $732 billion – $27 billion more than Defense. On top of that, $496 billion went to safety net programs that provide aid other than health insurance or Social Security benefits to individuals and families facing hardship. Could the reason why the US is falling behind the rest of the world in productivity be because they are incentivized not to be productive? Certainly, there is enough money for all those programs and more can be returned by reducing waste and prioritizing. Hopefully, Senator Reid has not already determined his priorities. The American people’s short attention span is the result of having to fill in the gaps where elected officials have left a void.

    April 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pamiri

    I also say you should be not confident because your resources are misusing by Karzai to Taliban in on or the other ways, when you would be confident and proud to be as human being and working as human like many good people do it around the world, to have stable action backs your strategies , not misleading by a incapable man like Karzai and his Taliban

    April 20, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. pamiri

    You should know shen is not an Afghan she is Pakistani

    April 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Patrick Linn

    Can someone shoot holes in the idea to buy the raw opium from the farmers in Afghanistan and Pakistan before the bad guys do the same. Wouldn't this reduce the income for the Taliban, let the farmers get their crop sold for the season and reduce the cost of interdiction in the heroin trade worldwide. This appears on the face of it to be a more intelligent use of our limited resources when we need to think outside the box. Tell me why it will not work please?


    April 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • pamiri

      this could be Karzai's ideas, the big dealer of opium and Pakistan's slave to get benift out of poppy !!!

      April 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Old Man Clark

    I tend to agree with you,Amrullah Yousafzai. We have no business being in your country!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pamiri

    Yesterday strong bomb detonated by the Taliban suicide bomber in front of the 201 military corps in Laghman (dasht Gamberi) country), which killed some officers and soldiers of the afghan national army, five international forces also have been killed by Taliban in suicide attack in the east of the country.

    Simultaneously as the international forces announced their support from the peace talks of Karzai with Taliban,Taliban Alqaeda have escalated their barbarism and cruelty against the humanity, but we are very afraid that why the OBAMA and other leaders of the world are ignoring these very shameful and barbarian activities of Taliban Alqaeda Pakistan, still they are supporting from Karzai and Pakistani their slaves in the country, it needs to be fights very hard and with stable policy against those who have killed many people in the country, We have to have very strong stable policy against Taliban and their supporters in Afghan government.

    we have some ministers in Afghan government who always support Taliban’s actions and who is defending from What Taliban have committed, it have been seen that several times when Taliban have killed humanity and have committed very shameful action , but these ministers, which one of them is education minister FARUQ WARDAK always says that Taliban don’t this or that brutal action, though the Taliban spokes man confessed what they have done.

    Till as we have had such a minister and Karzai on power, it would be difficult to succeed, but if we want to remove the barbarism and brutality from Afghanistan and region then we have to remove the figure in Afghan government who supports Taliban in one or the other ways. The one who did suicide attack in 201 military corps was a (Pashtun) military officers, this is the clear evidence to prove that there is some insurgents in ANA. This officer has had for four years in ANA according to news.

    It is clear for all that Taliban and those who have the idea of Taliban; they are the slave of Pakistan and strangers, which one of them is Mr Karzai and his favor ministers Like Faruq Wardak, Ahamdi, head of NDS, attorney general some others. These mentioned ministers are the Taliban who have the neckties, but what they think and Taliban are the same and we cannot remove the Taliban by them. We need those people on power who are against Taliban and their ideas and agenda in the country.

    From Kabul

    April 16, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Are you afraid Pamiri ?

      April 17, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        We are not the people who afraid and who are coward like Taliban and their fathers Pakistanis, who killing innocent people around the world not just in the region, we are the people who love their country and respect to others too, who believe on humanity not like you living like slave ship under the control of Pakistan , did you understand?

        We are rationally are standing against the barbarism and terrorism and all their Pakistanis isi etc

        Do worry about me we are on the ground

        April 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        You are protected by the americans in Kabul for now, but you shall see.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. cameron

    Lol what? Are you just joking, or being serious?

    In any case, I guess you prefer the presence of us ZIONIST PUPPET AMERICAN PIGS.

    Anyways, I find it hilarious that you connect Afghani women to being able to fight us American pigs.
    What, is it some source of motivation or something?

    April 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Napoli

    What, exactly is not going to work? Please, Mr Senator, define. Just as in every war since Vietnam, you are placing too many strings on the budget and attempt to micro manage the war. War is war, it is not a game nor business. Let the fighting force do their job in the manner they see fit and guess what? It will work. Quit playing around a get serious, please or you are right, you will be wasting US Taxpayer's Grandkids money.

    April 15, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      I agree that war should be a war, meaning you have to do it when really necessary. Instead war is become a business for the Military Complex. There is a disconnection betwen the MIC and the american society. Those wars are not necessary and dangerous.

      April 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • cameron


      April 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. salerno

    After 10 years he is not confident it is going to work. Wellcome to the reality, genius !!
    Of course Petreus must say that everything is ok, as he is the responsible, and cannot criticize himself.

    April 15, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |