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Senate urges Obama to hasten return of troops from Afghanistan

The Senate on Wednesday quietly approved a measure requiring President Obama to more swiftly withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

November 30, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro
(Musadeq Sadeq / Associated…)

The Senate on Wednesday quietly approved a measure requiring President Obama to more swiftly withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

The amendment from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) was attached to a broader defense bill making its way through the Senate. It was approved by a voice vote, without dissent.

“It is time to bring our men and women home,” Merkley said. “The U.S. Senate sent that message to the president today in unequivocal terms.”

The Afghanistan amendment requires the president to develop an accelerated plan to withdraw troops ahead of the planned December 2014 deadline and transition security operations to the government of Afghanistan and submit that proposal to Congress within 90 days of the bill’s passage.

Earlier this week, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have ended the authority for the war in Iraq.

The broader defense bill is must-pass legislation that sets Pentagon policy for fiscal 2012. The White House has threatened to veto the defense bill over objections to provisions on the treatment of detainees in suspected terrorism investigations.

lmascaro@tribune.com

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