Congressman Joe Courtney released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's speech regarding the future of our nation's military commitment in Afghanistan:
"I have serious concerns about expanding our military commitment in support of the Afghan government, whose election was marred by gross irregularities and which has proven to be an unreliable partner in fighting corruption and building a stable future for its nation. Over the next several days, I will be critically examining the President's new strategy during hearings before the House Armed Services Committee. During those sessions, it will be critical to probe how the new strategy will address serious issues with Afghanistan's governance, spur reliable engagement by other stakeholders in the stability and security of the region, and clearly define the mission for which the President is asking these additional troops to put themselves on the line."
Congressman Courtney is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. On Thursday December 3, the committee will receive testimony from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On Tuesday December 8, the committee will hear from General Stanley McChrystal, our Commander in Afghanistan, and Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.
The Connecticut lawmaker has travelled to Afghanistan twice. During those trips, Congressman Courtney met with Afghan government officials in Kabul, travelled to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border to discuss the security situation there with US and NATO forces, and toured a forward operating base in Kandahar.