WASHINGTON -- As public frustration with the war in Afghanistan grows, Rep. Jim Himes has reached a tipping point. The Connecticut Democrat has concluded that the war cannot be won.
"I am increasingly adamant that we are not going to change the country," said Himes at a town hall meeting hosted by the local League of Women Voters in on Monday, according to the Greenwich Patch.
"We have a very ugly partner with Karzai and his people. I take the President at his word he will begin withdrawing troops this summer … because of the cost to our society both human and monetary, and the lack of success," he said.
Himes told a crowd at another town hall meeting in January that he believed the United States was not winning the war. But Patch reported on Monday, the Congressman told his constituents that he has had an "evolution" since then.
"I've arrived at the point of view that we're not going to change Afghanistan," Himes said. "I'm done. I'm done."
Himes did not, however, endorse an immediate troop withdrawal. He also didn't vote for Rep. Dennis Kucinich's (D-Ohio) resolution last month that called for the withdrawal all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.
"Withdrawing in 30 days is not the right way to do it," Himes said at the Greenwich meeting. He added that America still needs to have a military presence in the region.
"We should have two military bases in Afghanistan and leave the rest of the country to Afghanistan," Himes added.
The United States is spending more than $100 billion a year in Afghanistan, amounting to about $2 billion a week.
The Defense Department received $513 billion in funding in the Fiscal Year 2011 continuing resolution, approximately $5 billion above last year's level. Another $158 billion is provided for emergency funding, or so-called overseas contingency operations. The war in Afghanistan will receive $108 billion of that funding, while the war in Iraq will receive $50 billion.