GOP lawmaker rejects Obama assertion that Taliban momentum is broken

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Wednesday rejected President Obamas assertion that his administration has ended the Talibans momentum.

Obama opened his State of the Union address on Tuesday night by saying that Osama bin Laden was no longer a threat, that most of al Qaedas lieutenants had been defeated and that the Talibans momentum had been broken.

I disagree to this extent, King said on the House floor. The Talibans momentum has shifted from military tactical to political. They have a lot of political momentum — its not been broken. The political momentum has accelerated.

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King said proof of this is the Obama administrations own efforts to negotiate with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and members of the Taliban on the political structure of Afghanistans new government.

The Talibans momentum has not been broken, its been transitioned into political power, King said. And they are looking today to hand political power over to the Taliban in Afghanistan so that the Afghanistan government will reflect the wishes of the Taliban, and less reflect the wishes of the Northern Alliance.

King is one of several House members who earlier this month met with members of the Northern Alliance, and called on the administration to ensure that Afghanistans government does not come under the control of the Taliban.