Hoyer: No Plan, No New Troops for Afghanistan
Maybe I should have added Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to my list of Congress members to watch on Afghanistan. At his weekly pen-and-pad briefing, the Democratic majority leader in the House told reporters that the Obama administration needs to give Congress “a plan that members conclude can be successful” before the legislature signs off on a second increase in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan this year. Hoyer said he hasn’t yet seen Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s strategy review, so it’s unclear if that overview, which Defense Secretary Bob Gates emphasized Thursday wasn’t a new strategy, will placate the powerful Maryland Democrat. Hoyer is as establishment and centrist as Democrats come, so if he’s he’s expressing concern — and he implied that he supports the continued U.S. goal of defeating al-Qaeda that President Obama announced in March — that’s another sign of eroding congressional confidence in Obama’s handling of the war.