Levin: No Afghan War if We'd Caught bin Laden
Senators hit talk shows to talk Afghanistan
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2009 1:11 PM CST
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, talks on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/CBS, Karin Cooper, Face the Nation)

(Newser) – Had the US not missed its chance to nab Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in 2001, there's a “good chance we would not have forces or need to have forces there," Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin told Face the Nation. Given the current situation, however, Politico reports that the Michigan Democrat says the emphasis needs to be on beefing up the Afghan army. Various lawmakers hit the Sunday talk-show circuit to offer their take ahead of President Obama's Tuesday announcement.

  • Sen. Dick Lugar suggesting "putting aside" health reform until next year in favor of fixing Afghanistan strategy and unemployment. The Indiana Republican also gave props to Obama for taking his time on the Afghan decision.
  • Sens. Evan Bayh and Jon Kyl sparred over exit strategy on Fox News Sunday, with the Arizona Republican saying Afghans need to know "we will be there until the mission is accomplished." The Indiana Dem countered that such talk keeps "the pressure on the Afghans."
  • Bayh and Kyl did reach across the aisle to agree on one thing: The pair who crashed Obama's state dinner ought to spend a little time in the pokey.
  • Tony Blair went to bat for Obama's Middle East peace strategy, telling State of the Union that the president is "completely committed," and "there is a way through here."
  • Don't look for Mike Huckabee to run for the White House in 2012: "The reason I wouldn’t is that this Fox gig I’ve got is really wonderful," the new host told Fox News Sunday.