On June 11, 2011 Norm Dicks (D) Washington State’s 6th district told constituents through reporters at his local paper The Kitsap Sun, that it is time for Afghanistan to “take care of herself”. So the question becomes this, is Norm Dick signaling this administrations willingness to move up the timeline for removing troops from Afghanistan. Norm Dicks is a hawk, he is the senior democratic member of the defense appropriations committee and was Jack Murtha’s right hand man and successor to head up the committee under a Democratic speaker. Norm has been in government a very long time and was a legislative and administrative assistant to Senator Warren G. Magnuson, who was a well-known hawk during Vietnam. Magnuson believed the US should stop the spread of communism. Norm like many others in congress supported military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, although he eventually changed his beliefs, not unlike Magnuson did about Vietnam later on in his career. What I wonder is if Norm Dicks is signaling to the American people, that this administration has plans to end the conflict in Afghanistan sooner rather than later.
Dicks said in the Kitsap Sun,
“We are cutting a lot of important programs for the people of this country, people who are unemployed,” he said Friday in a telephone interview with the Kitsap Sun. “If I’m going to spend money I’d rather spend it on trying to create jobs for these people through infrastructure expenditures.”
Does this mean the administration is ready to put together a firm timeline to withdraw from Afghanistan and they would be moving up the 2014 time line? Norm Dicks is a good Democrat and a very close ally of the Obama Administration, Leslie Gelb of the Daily beast seems to think so. American’s have turned against the Afghan war and it isn’t politically tenable to not plan to withdraw from Afghanistan at this point. As we all know the Afghani’s are as tired of us as we are of fighting an endless war there.
On June 9th during a confirmation hearing in the senate he was cautious when describing his views on the Afghan war, but did say that he agreed with the President that troop withdrawal should begin next month and they should be significant withdrawals, although he added that the US should “provide sufficient stability so that the country never again becomes a safe haven for Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s militant allies.
Aside from being a hawk at times Dicks is a reliable progressive and votes accordingly.
Record of Norm’s votes
Norm’s Progressive Action Score
I am hoping Dick’s is signaling that the time tables for withdrawing from Afghanistan will be pushed up significantly and that many of our troops will be coming home sooner rather than later.
Cross-posted at DAGblog