This is not just any place on the planet. This is the place where the Taliban took control after the Russians left, aligned themselves with Al Qaida, and attacked this nation and killed 3,000 Americans, and I hope the president will tell the world, our troops and anybody listening Tuesday, that will never happen again. With this new surge of forces, Taliban will never take back over Afghanistan. We're going to put measurements and benchmarks on the Afghan government, but we're going to have troops in Afghanistan to win the conflict. I hope he says that, without any uncertain terms.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, how about this question of cost, as Senator Sanders raised? It looks like the cost is going to be about $1 million per year for each additional service member, and a lot of Democrats, like the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey, talked to our Jon Karl this week, said we ought to pay for it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBEY: If we have to pay for the health care bill, we should pay for the war as well.
JON KARL, ABC NEWS: How?
OBEY: By having a new war surtax. The problem in this country with this issue is that the only people who have been asked to sacrifice are military families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Does he have a point there, Senator Graham? If we're going to fight a war, shouldn't the American people pay for it?
GRAHAM: Well, I'd like to see an endeavor to see if we can cut current spending and find some dollars that we're spending today to pay for the war, and prioritize American spending. Where does our national security rate in terms of spending? Are there things that we can do in the stimulus package? Can we trim up the health care bill and other big-ticket items to pay for a war that we can't afford to lose?
So I welcome a debate about how to control government spending and pay for the war. I do want to let Bernie and anyone else listening know that from my point of view, the president is correct in assessing that Afghanistan is a war that must be won because the national security implications of what happens in Afghanistan will follow this country for decades, so I intend to support the president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to -- I want to ask Senator Sanders to comment on this, but first, let me press you on that. You're against -- let me first get Senator Graham on one point there. So you are against the tax, but you are for cutting spending to pay for this, not increasing the deficit? Senator Graham?
GRAHAM: I think it would be a good exercise for the Congress to look at ways to trim up the spending, which has been out of control since the administration came into power, and prior towards this war, the way it should be. Our national security future depends on getting it right in Afghanistan, and there is no better use of taxpayer dollars than to defend America, in my view.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders?