Lawmakers on Capitol Hill greeted President Obama’s announcement of the acceleration of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan with enthusiasm this week, after the two countries agreed to draw the over a decade-long war to a close earlier than expected.
“Today is a great day for the American troops but also for our country.” former Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy said Friday on PoliticsNation, offering a unique perspective on the news as the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress.
“Thank goodness,” he added. “We are shifting from a counter insurgency doctrine to now a counter terrorism doctrine.”
The president’s announcement came after a series of meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, where he pointed to successes as a key factor in the acceleration of withdrawal. ”We achieved our central goal–or have come very close to achieving our central goal–which is to de-capacitate al Qaeda; to dismantle them; to make sure that they can’t attack us again,” Obama explained.
Murphy echoed that in his own response. ”We are bringing our troops home,” he said. “Because they did their job.”
Murphy also had praise for the president living up to his word. “I give President Obama a lot of credit because he had the guts to do the right thing, because we all know we’re gonna be hearing it from the far right-wing,” he said. “But President Obama did the right thing for American security and American troops.”
The Afghan war, which has been going on for more than a decade, has cost more than $550 billion, taken more than 2,000 American lives, and left more than 17,000 wounded.
“The days of nation building, after 11 years, are now finally over,” Murphy said. “It is time to nation build here at home.”