Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's speech at West Point laying out a strategy for Afghanistan. This past week, Chairman Price travelled to Afghanistan to meet with American troops and our military and diplomatic leaders in the region.
"We are all pleased that the President's extended deliberations have come to a close," said Congressman Price. "It is encouraging that the President has not turned his back on Afghanistan, but serious questions were raised by his remarks tonight. The consequences of handing Afghanistan to al Qaeda and the Taliban remain grave, and it is essential that we support our troops in their mission. Having just returned from Afghanistan, it worries me that the President's commitment to our mission does not match that of our troops on the ground.
"If we are to commit even one troop to further engagement in Afghanistan, it should be with the strategy that our commanders believe gives us the best shot at achieving their mission. While I have ultimate confidence in our commanders' ability to effectively utilize these additional troops, it is troubling that the President rejected General McChrystal's full request for resources. Even more concerning, the President managed to declare the beginning and the end of a military operation at the same time. This type of conflicting message does not offer confidence to our allies, gives our friends and enemies reason to doubt the President's resolve, and is counterproductive.
"Tonight was an historic speech, but the real story will be decided by how the President moves forward. As these men and women begin to deploy into theatre, a larger dose of Presidential leadership and backbone will be required to make clear to the world that United States can and will do what is necessary to degrade the ability of al Qaeda to seriously threaten America again."