On a trip to Afghanistan over the weekend, Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar stressed the importance of a clear timeline for U.S. withdrawal from the country.
Klobuchar, a Democrat, visited Afghanistan as part of a bipartisan Congressional delegation. She met with Minnesota troops there, as well as U.S. military commanders, including Gen. Stanley McChrystal. She also met with members of the Afghan government, including President Hamid Karzai.
Klobuchar says the U.S. must learn from its experience in Iraq.
"When I visited Iraq, some of our military leaders said that the timelines were helpful because it made it very clear to some of the Iraqi leadership that they had to get their act together, and people had to come back to the towns," said Klobuchar. "The same thing, I believe, can work in Afghanistan. It's up to the Afghan people, it's up to the government there, whether they are going to be strong enough. You don't want to send the message that we are going to be there forever."
Klobuchar also stressed that American support in Afghanistan must be tied to improvements in that country's government and economy.
Klobuchar also said she plans to investigate the need for full body scanners at U.S. airports when Congress resumes its work in January.
Some European governments have already announced plans to consider using the scans to increase security at airports, after an attempted terrorist attack aboard a Northwest Airlines flight Christmas Day.
"I think we have to do everything that we can to make sure that this doesn't happen again," said Klobuchar. "I'm someone that gets screened every single time because I've had a hip replacement. It's not that bad, you can handle it. I just think we should err on the side of making sure that these screenings are thorough."
Klobuchar sits on the Senate Commerce Committee, which would be involved in evaluating the requirement.