PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Wednesday afternoon, Senator Dick Durbin expressed his support for the war in Afghanistan coming to an end.
Durbin says in 2002 he voted to authorize the U.S. military’s involvement in Afghanistan.
He states in 2002 the goals were to bring Osama bin Laden to justice and to stop Al-Qaeda from further terrorist efforts against the United States and its allies. Durbin said these goals were accomplished 10 years ago.
The senator said Americans remaining in Afghanistan should receive assistance in returning home if they wish.
“They have to make that decision initially, and now we have a much more challenging situation in determining how we can bring them out of the country. It’s my understanding the State Department is working on diplomatic efforts, so this could be done not in a military fashion, but in a civilian fashion,” Durbin says.
He also said he believes a deadline should be looked at for the authorization of military force in the future.
“Once we have given that authorization it should not be open-ended and everlasting, it ought to really reflect what’s going-on on the ground and I think in Afghanistan we learned and even in Iraq, we learned unless there’s clear definition of purpose, it’s very hard for us to achieve these goals,” he said.
Durbin said another priority is bringing home Illinois resident Mark Frerichs, who is being held hostage by the Taliban.
Wednesday he also stated that he supported the U.S. and Illinois offering refuge to those that qualify.