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Senate rejects exit timetable for Afghanistan
By Susan Cornwell
Thu May 27, 2:57 pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate rejected a proposal on Thursday to require President Barack Obama to submit a timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, despite unease among some members of his own party over the nine-year-old war.
The 80-18 vote nixed a bid by liberal Democrat Russ Feingold for a detailed troop timetable, which he argued would avoid future "emergency" war spending bills such as the $33 billion one now before the Senate.
Most members of the Democratic-majority Senate proved unwilling to dictate to the president, with a buildup of 30,000 additional troops still underway that Obama ordered to Afghanistan and a new military push in the Kandahar area.
Adopting Feingold's plan would "reinforce the fear ... that the United States will abandon the region," Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, said.
Levin said this was unwise as the Taliban is "doing everything it can" to convince Afghans that U.S., NATO and Afghan forces cannot protect them.
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