Rep. Pete Olson today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement on the future of U.S. engagement in Afghanistan:
"I support the President's long overdue decision to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan as requested by General McChrystal on August 30th. I am hopeful that these additional resources will be adequate to successfully complete the mission our troops have been tasked with.
"I have deep concerns however with the President's insistence on an already-defined "exit strategy." General McChrystal and our troops must be given the time to gain the trust and confidence of the Afghan population. The average Afghan citizen will not cooperate, or worse, will choose to side with the Taliban, if they believe that coalition forces will be withdrawn at a moment's notice by the President of the United States. In turn, this artificial deadline not only places additional pressure on our troops, but also increases the threats they could face completing the mission.
"Republicans in Congress will have many questions about the new strategy in Afghanistan. I am pleased that the Administration has finally decided to allow Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, General McChrystal, and other diplomats to testify before Congress on the subject in the coming days and weeks.
"Our nation's troops have fought admirably in dangerous conditions to win the war against those who attacked our nation on September 11th. We want our military to come home as soon as possible -- in victory -- not defeat."