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SPRINGFIELD - Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria met with General Stanley McChrystal and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Monday in a trip to the country with other federal lawmakers.

Schock supports President Barack Obama's plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. But Schock said in a conference call Monday he continues to disagree with Obama's announcement to begin removing troops in 18 months.

"I think it's good to announce the beginning of a new strategy, but it's a mistake to announce the end of a new strategy," Schock said.

The freshman Republican said Karzai voiced frustration that Taliban fighters might just wait the 18 months out. But Schock said McChrystal voiced confidence they would either fight back or be forced to negotiate sooner.

Schock planned to meet with troops Tuesday after lengthy meetings Monday with Karzai, McChrystal, the leader of the Afghan parliament and U.S. embassy staff. He called the trip "interesting and enlightening."

In a visit to Kabul, Schock said he was surprised by the worn-down, polluted nature of the city despite eight years of American occupation.

Schock represents the 18th Congressional District, which includes Logan County, northern Macon County and Decatur, and parts of Tazewell and Woodford counties.



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