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As House looks to speed up Afghanistan exit, Allen West suggests his colleagues should "get shot at a few times" to realize the threat posed by the Taliban

With Osama bin Laden dead, the House is considering two votes to force President Barack Obama to establish clear, expedited timetables for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, where about 100,000 are now.

Obama plans to begin withdrawing some forces in July, and he aims to have most of them out by 2014. And while the efforts to speed up his  timetable are expected to fail, thanks largely to strong opposition from Republicans, the votes could be close.

Some members, though, remain steafast: Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who trained Afghan officers, soundly denounced efforts to withdraw, calling the threat there a "multi-headed Hydra.

"Is the Taliban still fighting? I spent 2.5 years in Afghanistan. Just because you kill Osama bin Laden does not mean that the Taliban has stopped fighting," he said. "Now can we fight a little smarter? Absolutely."

Asked about efforts to curb U.S. involvement, West said, "I would take these gentlemen over and let them get shot at a few times and maybe they'd have a different opinion."

He later left the House floor to show a reporter his Blackberry: On it, notification of the death of four service members in Afghanistan.

Comments

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Lori Holman

As the proud, patriotic & Progressive mother of two combat-Vet Marine sons I thank Rep. West for his service. Then I'd remind him that if we hadn't taken such an unnecessary, expensive and deadly detour into Iraq and concentrated on Afghanistan we'd be successful & out of there by now. Not only would those four service members be alive, so would thousands of others lost to "OIF". That, sir, would have been "fighting smarter". I'm glad my sons didn't have the likes of Mr. West as commander; he's bad enough in his civilian position.

Fishymish

By 'fighting smarter" we should not be focused on nation building, but instead allow our troops to effectively engage the enemy. We have the most lethal fighting force in the world, but if we don't allow them to engage that force, they will not succeed. Congressman West has remained firm on that issue, and I stand firmly behind him.

Naithom

You know, it's only been four months since Gabby Giffords was shot. Making comments about legislators needing to get shot is probably not the swiftest idea.

Clint

Wow Mr. West... you are a bigger idiot than I thought.

richard braverman

Still debating a war based on lies. Still using the tired old vietnam mantra that somehow our political leaders are restraining the military. Sorry folks short of nuclear weapons the US military has already throown everything at the Afghans and the Iraqis. Short of using nukes, we just do not have the numbers to occupy and run a foreign prison. I have to ask who is crazier, a rambo-esque lieutenant-colnel or a President who doubles dowm on a busted hand? Where are President Paul and Vice President Kucinich when you need them?

Lori Holman

@fishymish...I suppose then you're of the Trump School of Foreign Policy which is "Go in and break things - Invade, take other countries hostage & seize their goods." There's only one word that describes that: Insanity.

I wonder too, if you really understand the mission or the place of our military at all, and if you have anyone you care for on the front line yourself. It's all too easy to advocate putting other peoples' lives on the line. Are you willing to sacrifice the same? If so, let's discuss.

@braverman, that's President Kuchinich and Vice President Wasserman Schultz. Paul could work on some Foreign Policy, but I don't want him anywhere near Economic Development or Domestic Policy. LOL

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