Washington : The U.S. troops in Iraq should be redeployed to Pakistan and Afghanistan to focus on fighting terrorist threats there, a U.S. lawmaker said on Saturday.
The House Representative from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, said in her weekly Democratic radio address that the Democrat-dominated Congress is challenging President George W. Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq “in favor of a better one that will effectively combat terrorism and create stability in the Middle East.”
“Time and time again, we voted for a strategy to redeploy troops out of Iraq to leave policing the streets to Iraqis and to focus our mission on anti-terrorism, and we won’t give up,” she said.
“Such a strategy forces the political reconciliation through which stability and rejection of terrorism can flow more effectively. Such an approach would allow for a greater focus on addressing growing terrorist threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” she added.
The congresswoman also urged the government to provide better benefits to U.S. troops and veterans in exchange for their contributions to the nation.
“Providing the greatest funding since World War II for benefits and health care for our armed services and veterans is one of the most important accomplishments of this Congress,” Gillibrand said. “This support is the beginning of what they have earned,” she added.
The speech was reportedly taped a week earlier, before former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday during a suicide bombing when she was leaving a campaign rally.