The death of Osama bin Laden “is a major victory” for the Obama administration, but it does not change the basic challenge that the United States faces in Afghanistan, US Sen. John Kerry said during a May 3 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and the committee’s chairman, stated in his prepared opening remarks: “Bin Laden is dead, but the fight against the violence and hatred he fomented is not over. One of the reasons we are here this morning is to examine how his death affects the conflict in Afghanistan and its implications for our upcoming troop withdrawal, our transition strategy and our partnerships in the region.”
Later on, Kerry rejected the notion that bin Laden’s death might enable a rapid US withdrawal from Afghanistan. “We can't do that,” Kerry insisted. “But it is no longer enough to simply lay out our goals. We need to determine what type of Afghanistan we plan to leave in our wake.”
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