Levin argues against cuts to Afghan forces

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) used his opening statement at the confirmation hearing for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel to advocate against cuts to the size of Afghan security forces.

Although some Obama administration officials disagree with U.S. military plans to build an Afghan army and police force totaling 352,000 personnel, Levin has long been a supporter of a large Afghan army, seeing it as part of America's exit strategy from the country.


Upon return from a trip to Afghanistan last month, Levin and his SASC colleague, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), wrote a letter to the national security adviser, Tom Donilon, urging the White House not to reduce support for the Afghan security forces.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor. He has served as national editor and as bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo and Southeast Asia.
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