Rep. Taylor returns from 5th visit to Afghanistan

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Fourth District Congressman Gene Taylor is just back from a trip to Afghanistan. It is not the first time he has been there, but the congressman is becoming increasingly concerned about the direction of the war.

The U.S. military now has nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. We are spending $12 billion a month. But perhaps what is most disturbing is the American casualty numbers keep growing.

"As we get better, unfortunately, the enemy gets better," Taylor said during a recent interview with WLOX News.

He did point out that with the sheer force of our military power and the number of troops over there, we immensely outnumber the Taliban. But this is not your father's war.

"The Taliban is a small percentage of the Afghan population, but these are trained fighters. These are trained killers. They are very good at making bombs," Taylor said.

Congressman Taylor was among the many in Congress who gave then President Bush the go ahead to take our military into Afghanistan. The initial intent was to find and kill Osama bin Laden, but now Taylor said the mission has changed. It's now about nation building and the congressman does not feel that is working very well.

"Building anything that looks like the American nation over there is not going to happen and we can't afford the money to do that."

Taylor wants President Obama to hold Afghan President Hamed Karzi accountable for what he calls a very corrupt regime. Taylor said all we can hope for now is to put some semblance of an honest government in power there. Once we do, he wants our American troops to come home.

But even if that happens, Taylor knows there will be some unfinished business in Afghanistan. He has not forgotten the original mission for going over there, which was to find and to kill the world's most wanted criminal.

"I would love to push the button myself on the strike that kills him, but I do think we will get him," the congressman said with no hesitancy whatsoever about the fate of Osama bin Laden.

Taylor had gone to Afghanistan to visit with members of the 287th National Guard unit based out of Lucedale. One of their members had sent him an email expressing concerns about a lack of equipment, including bomb detonating devices and even rifles. Taylor said those issues are being resolved.

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