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Kind not in favor of U.S. extended military presence in Afghanistan

Congressman Ron Kind, who's just back from the Middle East, says it would not serve U.S. interests to keep an extended military presence in Afghanistan.

And instead of the major troop increase President Obama is considering, the La Crosse Democrat says the U.S. should equip and train Afghan and Pakistani personnel so they can secure their own countries.

Kind and three other House Democrats just returned from a week-long trip to Pakistan.

And Kind said the region's stability hinges on the success of Pakistan, the leadership center of al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The lawmakers spent most of their time in Islamabad, but they also went to Peshawar, which had at least five bombing attacks by insurgents in the past week.

Kind said his group was in the city during some of those bombings. And he called Pakistan, "the middle of the breeding ground for extreme terrorism that affects us all."

Kind said the U.S. should do what it can to guarantee that safe havens continue in Pakistan, and help the country secure its own borders.

But after eight years of a U.S. presence there, Kind says American troops are getting tired and "They're at the point of breaking."