- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bipartisan legislation introduced in both houses of Congress on Wednesday would require President Obama to develop a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and increase oversight of private contractors by the inspector-general for Afghan reconstruction.

The legislation aims to “enhance our national security and reduce the burden on our armed forces and on taxpayers,” the bill’s co-sponsors said in a statement.

“The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would require the president to provide a plan for drawing down our forces in Afghanistan,” they said. “The legislation also increases oversight by the special inspector-general for Afghanistan reconstruction over work done by private contractors with records of waste, fraud and abuse in order to safeguard U.S. taxpayer dollars.”

The legislation is being co-sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, and Reps. Jim McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat, and Walter Jones, North Carolina Republican.

In December, Mr. Obama decided to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as part of an “extended surge of 18 to 24 months,” bringing the total number of American forces in the war-torn country to about 100,000. He also said that, “after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home,” but he did not offer a timetable.

• Nicholas Kralev can be reached at nkralev@washingtontimes.com.

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