WASHINGTON (March 27, 2009) – The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization voiced his strong support for President Obama’s plan to increase troop levels and funding for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
“We have seen the results of a successful surge strategy in Iraq,” American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein said. “When President Bush announced his plan for a troop increase there, we supported him. Now that President Obama wants to send additional troops to Afghanistan, we support him as well. Afghanistan was the training ground for the Sept. 11 attacks. We can never again permit the regime that allowed that to happen to take power.”
The president will reportedly send 4,000 additional troops to train and advise Afghan troops. These troops would be in addition to the 17,000 combat troops that were authorized to be added there last month. As part of the strategy, the White House would like to increase funding for the war by 60 percent.
“You cannot send troops into harm’s way without giving them the tools they need to succeed,” Rehbein said. “I believe not only in President Obama’s plan, but also in the leadership of Gen. David Petraeus and the magnificent men and women who are defending us in the global war on terrorism. Congress should absolutely support the president’s request.”
With a current membership of 2.6 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and the mentoring of youth. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
Media Contacts: Joe March, (317) 630-1253; Cell 317-748-1926, John Raughter (317)630-1350 or Craig Roberts (202)263-2982. This text and a high-resolution photo of Cmdr. Rehbein can be downloaded at www.legion.org <http://www.legion.org/> .
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