Concern about the war in Afghanistan isn’t news, but it’s noteworthy coming from U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks. A major power in Congress, Dicks is one of the nation’s chief makers of defense policy and has a strong grip on the military’s purse strings.
As chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, he’s well briefed on the war and visited Afghanistan twice this year.
Visiting us today, he described the war as “a big question mark” – tougher than Iraq, in part because “79 percent of the people are illiterate,” heroin production is widespread and “corruption keeps getting worse.”
“There’s no question they’re getting stronger,” Dicks said of the Taliban. “I don’t know whether we can turn this thing around.”
“I’m supporting it, but I wonder just how long it’s going to take. How long will the American people support this if we don’t see significant progress? With the surge (in Iraq), once they saw something positive happening, they were willing to give Bush a little more time.”
With Afghanistan, though, “People are all getting nervous,” he said.
Including him, obviously.