Reichert Statement In Reaction To President's Speech On Afghanistan
Today Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) issued this statement following the President's announcement regarding troop levels in Afghanistan:
"Concerning our military commitments, I have always said our President needs to listen to the generals he has entrusted to assess what is required to fight and to win," Reichert said. "With reserved optimism, I am pleased the President has heeded the advice or our military leaders to send additional troops needed to accomplish our mission. This is a complex issue and I believe it is in America's vital security interest to win.
"While setting an internal schedule and benchmarks is important, publicly establishing a timeline for withdrawal sends the wrong message to our fellow Americans and the rest of the world. It sends the signal that we are not sending these troops to fight, win and provide the security and economic stability the government and people of Afghanistan need, but that we are only biding our time and looking for a way out.
"I look forward to hearing from Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, General McChrystal and the diplomats who will testify before Congress in the days to come, to learn whether they believe the resources committed today are sufficient to complete this mission safely and effectively.
"Additionally, we anticipate this could affect troops based at Ft. Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, and I will be in close contact with both installations regarding the impact this decision could have and how we can best continue to support our troops and the entire military community."