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Hurtling the Pentagon into an unprecedented budgetary meltdown is horrifically irresponsible. Obama doesn't care. This is war - not against the Taliban but war against the GOP. He has Republicans on the ropes and that's a victory he savors and desires - unlike Afghanistan where he seems only to want to turn tail.

Four years ago I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We've blunted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan and in 2014 our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.

Winning in Afghanistan is having a country that is stable enough to ensure that there is no safe haven for Al Qaida or for a militant Taliban that welcomes Al Qaida. That's really the measure of success for the United States.

I think every religious person should have a deep sense of respect for other people's religious documents and religious symbols just as we were deeply opposed to the Taliban destroying the two historic buddhas which they blew up. So I think we ought to all oppose burning the Koran.

I say to the Taliban: surrender the terrorists or surrender power. It's your choice.

People in Afghanistan want peace including the Taliban. They're also people like we all are. They have families they have relatives they have children they are suffering a tough time.

While Taliban fighters had an initial claim to protection under the conventions they lost POW status by failing to obey the standards of conduct for legal combatants: wearing uniforms a responsible command structure and obeying the laws of war.

Human-rights advocates for example claim that the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is of a piece with President Bush's 2002 decision to deny al Qaeda and Taliban fighters the legal status of prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

There has not yet been a major ground offensive battle... There are we know negotiations going on between the opposition forces and the Taliban leadership for surrender.

As far as Iraq the important thing is that the Taliban is gone in Afghanistan three-quarters of the al-Qaida leadership is either dead or in jail and we now have Saudi Arabia working with us Pakistan working with us.

Mr. Speaker we are a blessed Nation. We have not suffered another attack on our soil since September 11 and we are grateful. We have killed or captured dozens of members of al Qaeda and the Taliban. Our military and intelligence forces are working both hard and smart.

When you say things like 'We have to wipe out the Taliban ' what does that mean? The Taliban is not a fixed number of people. The Taliban is an ideology that has sprung out of a history that you know America created anyway.

We all hoped in 2001 that we could put in place an Afghan government under President Karzai that would be able to control the country make sure al-Qaeda didn't come back and make sure the Taliban wasn't resurging. It didn't work out.