From Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has backed greater U.S. involvement abroad: "Even the slightest impression that the United States is looking to get out is devastating. It is one of the reasons why Pakistan continues to undermine our efforts to target Al Qaeda. It also discourages tribal leaders in Afghanistan from cooperating with us to defeat the Taliban, and it encourages the Taliban to keep on fighting.
"Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It is about the bigger fight against Al Qaeda and radical Islamic terrorism. After a decade of fighting, the American people are weary of war. Facing massive unemployment and a growing national debt, they are weary of the effort’s cost. So am I. But the answer to a bad situation is not to make it worse. And I have always believed that a troop withdrawal plan based not on progress towards our ultimate goal, but rather on a desire to hit certain numbers, would be a tragic mistake.
"Yes, American troops need to leave Afghanistan, but they should do so pursuant to a plan that accomplishes our vital goal. I hope that in the days to come, the President will more clearly articulate how his troop withdrawal plan does that."
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, hailed Obama's plan to pull 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan this year, beginning next month, but said "I only wish we could accelerate the process.
"The War in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history and has cost us too many lives and immeasurable resources," she said. "Our men and women in uniform have fought valiantly and their families have sacrificed tremendously, but after a decade of fighting, it is time to bring our troops home once and for all."