Kirk hits Giannoulias over comments on Afghanistan war

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Kirk served in Afghanistan as Navy Reserve officer, backed President Obama on Afghan surge

Northbrook, Ill. – Congressman Mark Kirk, a reserve officer who served in Afghanistan, today expressed disappointment in Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias for calling Operation Enduring Freedom a “war we didn’t need” during an interview this morning on Fox Chicago.

“We went from record budget surpluses to doubling the national debt by going into two wars we didn’t need,” Giannoulias said

Congressman Kirk, a Commander in the Navy Reserve, served in Kandahar, Afghanistan from December 2008 to January 2009 and again from December 2009 to January 2010. The congressman was a vocal supporter of President Obama’s Afghan surge.

“I was proud to serve in Afghanistan as a reserve intelligence officer and I continue to support President Obama in this important mission,” Congressman Kirk said. “After September 11th, we know that failure is not an option in Afghanistan. I am disappointed that Alexi Giannoulias would break with the President and the vast majority of Americans in calling Operation Enduring Freedom a war we didn’t need.”

Giannoulias’ comment represents a significant shift from positions he took during the Democratic primary when he backed the President’s Afghan surge plan. The position also puts him at odds with the vast majority of Americans. The House of Representatives authorized Operation Enduring Freedom on September 14, 2001 by a vote of 420-1.

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