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Gillibrand wants time-table for troop withdrawal

The 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum has spent much of the last decade in Afghanistan, fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban.

More than five hundred soldiers and reservists from the North Country are currently serving in that country.

But New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the time has come for President Barack Obama to set a clear time-table for bringing the troops home.

"New Yorkers, the American public, and the American taxpayers have grown weary of the war in Afghanistan, with good reason," she said.

"I want a clear plan to end America's war in Afghanistan and focus our fight against terror networks in regions where the threat of a terror attack on American is more urgent," Gillibrand added.

Speaking during a conference call Tuesday, Gillibrand - who is a Democrat - called for the draw-down to begin this July with the last combat troops out of Afghanistan by 2014.

Gillibrand said the main terror threat to the U.S. is no longer coming from Afghanistan.

"We need to do everything possible to protect against another 9/11-style attack," she said. "So my biggest concern is that with all of our forces committed to Afghanistan, where we've had no terror attacks emanating from in the last decade, if we aren't investing in other operations and strategies worldwide, we will not do enough to protect against another attack."

According to Gillibrand, the nature of al Qaeda has "changed."

"It's 10 years later now," she said. "10 years ago it was highly significant that al Qaeda had a base of operations where they could train and plan and launch the 9/11 attack."

"What we've seen is that al Qaeda, in the last 10 years, has metastasized," Gillibrand added. "It's become an organization that is worldwide, that can do remote operations, and can operate from very inhospitable locations, like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia."

Gillibrand also blasted the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. She said those countries leaders have proved to be poor partners in the war on terror.

It's unclear whether Gillibrand's bill has any chance of passage in a congress divided between Republicans and Democrats.

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