Soldier’s Mother Speaks About Troop Increase in Afghanistan

August of 2010 is the tentative date President Obama has set to pull most of the troops from Iraq.  The plan is then to send more troops to Afghanistan to battle the Taliban and terrorists. 

“It's been hard, this is his fourth deployment, and you would think with each deployment it would get easier,” said Kathy Hartmann, the mother of an Iraqi soldier. “But they get harder. This one is the hardest.”

Kathy Hartmann hasn't seen her son Tim for almost 2 years.  She said she was thrilled to hear a withdrawal date from Iraq was set, but she says our presence is far from over in Afghanistan.

“We do need to have our troops over there I don't think we need to be in Iraq at all,” said Hartmann.  “We needed to focus on Afghanistan in the beginning and that's where we should have been from the start.”

Senator Ben Nelson agrees. He said we have a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and therefore our new focus must be in that direction. This includes transferring some of our troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

“If we are not successful in Afghanistan, or if we were to pull out, there's no question in anybody's mind in what Afghanistan would revert to: what it was when we went in,” said Senator Nelson. 

As for Hartmann, even though she agrees Afghanistan needs our help, she wants the soldiers to get a leave between Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They're here to support out country and I know that they'll do their duty,” she said.  “They're not going to be happy about it if that's what's going to happen, I know there going to want to come home, but I would like them to at least get a break in there.”

It has not yet been decided if troops will move straight from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Senator Ben Nelson said experts have said we could be in Afghanistan until 2015 with at least some troop presence through 2025, but those are estimates.