Trip to Afghanistan Reaffirms Commitment to Afghan People and U.S. Troops
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) today supported H.R. 2346, FY 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Bill, which passed on a vote of 368 to 60.
"I support this legislation because it is absolutely essential we address the problems created in Afghanistan by the past Administration when our military was unnecessarily misdirected into Iraq," said DeGette. "After recently returning from a trip to Afghanistan, I am convinced even more that we must uphold our commitment to the Afghan people - many of whom have been subjected to human rights abuses. We also have a responsibility to provide the resources for U.S. troops who have been trying to eliminate the Taliban. If we abandon Afghanistan now, our national security interests would be severely compromised. We have an interest in strengthening the institutions in Afghanistan and helping them create the infrastructure that will allow us to build a legitimate and lasting partnership."
U.S. Rep. DeGette recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, where she met with many Afghan women, from elected leaders to representatives of advocacy groups to average citizens. Upon her return, she joined U.S. Reps. Susan Davis, member of the Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, Judy Biggert, Carol Shea-Porter, Donna F. Edwards, and Ann Kirkpatrick, in sending a letter to President Hamid Karzai urging him to amend the recently passed Shiite Personal Status Law. The Shiite Personal Status Law legalizes marital rape, undermines womens' parental rights in divorce proceedings, and restricts their rights to movement. While the Afghan government is reviewing the law, President Karzai still has the opportunity to amend it by removing the offensive sections.
"It is also important to recognize the funding provided by this bill is consistent with the President's goal to reduce the number of combat forces. I opposed the original authorization to go to war in Iraq because I believe it redirected our efforts away from the real focus - Afghanistan," DeGette concluded.