Josh Richman
Contra Costa Times
May 27, 2011

The House came close to approving an amendment Thursday that would have required the Obama administration to provide a plan and time frame for an accelerated draw down of military operations in Afghanistan.

The bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Walter Jones, R-N.C., failed on a 215-204 vote, but got 42 votes more than a similar amendment last year. All Bay Area members voted for it. Some said the close vote sends a message to the White House that Congressional support for the war is significantly and inexorably slipping away.

“With (Osama) bin Laden dead, al-Qaida’s training camps in Afghanistan destroyed, and fewer than 100 al-Qaida operatives left in Afghanistan, we have largely completed our mission in Afghanistan. Spending $120 billion a year to maintain 100,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan’s internal civil war on behalf of the corrupt Karzai government is not the way to keep America safe,” said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove. “I voted (Thursday) to enhance our national security by insisting we refocus our efforts toward targeting al-Qaida and other terrorists like a laser wherever they take root.”

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