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WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the following statement after President Obama’s Announcement on Afghanistan:

“Progress made in Afghanistan should allow us to lighten our footprint in the country, accelerate the shift in responsibility to Afghan forces and drawdown a significant number of U.S. troops from the country. After nearly ten years and a high cost to our troops, their families and the federal budget, the U.S. should shift its role in Afghanistan from a strategy of counterinsurgency towards an increased focus on counterterrorism.

From my perspective, tonight’s speech leaves some questions unanswered. I have particular concerns about the specifics of the President’s plan including whether this is the right balance to responsibly bring our troops home as fast as militarily feasible. I will raise these issues tomorrow morning in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with Secretary Clinton and in conversations with military commanders and our civilian leadership when I visit the region later this year.”