CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., spoke on the Senate floor Thursday, helping lead efforts to pass a resolution to end the war in Afghanistan by 2014. Manchin was an original co-sponsor of the amendment, which passed 62-33.
Manchin said 66,000 American combat troops remain in Afghanistan. President Obama plans to reduce their number at "a steady pace" until they are home by the end of 2014.
"I would prefer a faster pace, as long as it didn't jeopardize the safety of the troops. After all, this war has already surpassed the Vietnam War as the longest in American history," Manchin said.
"And it has already cost us dearly -- nearly 2,000 American military personnel dead; many thousands more maimed; and more than $500 billion spent."
Manchin backed the bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., that supports Obama's current plan to end combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.The resolution is not binding on Obama, and merely reflects the "sense of the Senate," Manchin said.