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Hoyer fired up on Afghanistan

From NBC's Luke Russert
In his weekly off-camera pen-and-pad session on Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer expressed anger and frustration with Republican attacks that President Obama's lack of a clear, concise policy regarding the war in Afghanistan is putting American troops at risk, "My Republicans colleagues, of course, abandoned their focus on Afghanistan for seven years and let it drift and did not resource it properly and did not succeed."

Hoyer continued, "For the Republicans who essentially diverted the attention from defeating terrorism, to Iraq on the incorrect assertion that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, frankly don't move me mightily, as you can tell."

When pressed again on whether or not troops in Afghanistan can be safest if the commander-in-chief hasn't outlined a comprehensive understandable strategy, Hoyer again shifted blame to Republicans and what Democrats widely consider their past history of failure in Iraq. "Let me reiterate: We were under-resourced in Iraq for at least five and half years. McCain said so. I said so. Hagel said so. Where were they? They were in charge. Where were they? They under resourced very badly Iraq."

Hoyer then claimed that Democrats have so far tackled the Afghanistan issue better than the Bush administration, "However, we have more people in Afghanistan today than we did under George Bush. And we are taking the fight more vigorously to the Taliban and to Al-Qaeda. In Pakistan on the border and in Helmand Province in where the fights are toughest."

He added, "[General] McChrystal has now made recommendations as to in light of the facts of Afghanistan in what we need. But we have more people than Mr. Boehner and his party put in Afghanistan in the last five and half years."

Hoyer concluded by defending Obama's delay in making a decision about Afghanistan strategy, "He correctly believes this is a critically important decision for him to make and he wants to make it correctly ... when he decides the right policy that be can successful he will resource it properly."