Franken and Klobuchar call for faster Afghan troop drawdown

WASHINGTON – Minnesota’s U.S. senators joined a bipartisan, but mostly Democratic, group of lawmakers asking President Obama to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan.

In a letter to the president, the 27 senators said American objectives in the country had been largely achieved, including the destruction of the terrorist group Al Qaeda and the recent killing of its leader, Osama bin Laden, by U.S. forces.

The letter said further counter-insurgency and nation-building efforts in Afghanistan were “misguided” and that international forces would be unable to build a Western-style democracy there.

DFL Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar signed the letter, as did two Republicans, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Both were elected in 2010 with strong Tea Party support.

In a statement, Franken said the letter, “sends a statement that our patience is limited.”

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