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.