WTVY  | Dothan, AL  | Politics, News

Obama Relies on Republicans to Pass War Funding

By: CBS
By: CBS

President Obama says the tens-of-thousands of leaked Afghanistan war documents don't have much information not already known by the public, but liberal democrats are using the leaked documents as a weapon against the president's war funding bill.

The president said Tuesday there's not much new in the tens-of-thousands of leaked Afghanistan war documents

"These documents don't reveal any issues that haven't already informed our public debate."

And he made clear he's still fully committed to his troop surge strategy now being executed by Gen. David Petreaus

"Now we have to see that strategy through," said the president.

But in the House Tuesday, the president's own party was split down the middle as liberal war critics used the leaked documents as a weapon.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, said, "Wake up, America. Wikileaks’ release of secret war documents gave us 92,000 reasons to end the wars. Pick one. Wake up, America."

"We should use this money to bring them home," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA.

The president found himself in the unusual position of relying on republicans to pass his war funding bill

"Cutting off their funding in the middle of that fight is tantamount to abandonment," said Rep. Buck McKeon, R-CA.

On Tuesday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it's hard to wage war without the support of the American people

"I think public support matters a lot when you have forces in harm’s way," said Gibbs.

But in fact only in the early years did Americans believe the war in Afghanistan was going well. Between 2003 and 2008, when the focus was on Iraq, support plummeted and after some minor ups and downs today stands at a mere 31 percent.

Even if the president's right that there isn't much new in the leaked documents, they still threaten to turn the public against the war even more by focusing a spotlight on all that's gone wrong: mounting u-s casualties, civilian casualties, Afghan government corruption, and claims that Pakistan is helping the Taliban.

CBS News National Security Analyst, Juan Zarate said, "The fact is the revelation of these documents, these raw reports, really brings to the floor all of the core challenges that we've been in facing in Afghanistan for a number of years."

The war funding bill now goes to the president for his signature, but it only funds the war for another few months, which means there's another big battle over paying for the war in Afghanistan just around the corner.


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