Even before foreign policy heavyweights like Sen. Richard Lugar suggested accelerating U.S. withdrawal on Tuesday, Idaho's freshman 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador said the death of Osama bin Laden should hasten America's exit.
"I do think this is a great time to declare victory in Afghanistan and to look for a way to get out of there," Labrador told the Idaho Statesman on Monday.
"We are supposed to start withdrawing this fall, but hopefully we can do it even sooner than that. I think we had accomplished our mission even before (bin Laden's death). We had done certain things to slow down the growth of al-Qaeda, to stop what they were doing.
"The only thing left hanging out there was: when are we going to capture or kill this man? And with this event, I think it's a good time for the American people to just start re-thinking our policy in the Middle East."
Labrador said he's been discussing withdrawal with GOP colleagues. "I'm actually probably in the minority in my conference, but the number's are growing of people who feel that way."
A measure of that came Tuesday when Lugar, R-Ind., said this during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting: "With al-Qaeda largely displaced from the country, but franchised in other locations, Afghanistan does not carry a strategic value that justified 100,000 American troops and a $100 billion per year cost, especially given current fiscal constraints."