Representative Carol Shea-Porter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, led a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Afghanistan last week. This was the first House Delegation to meet with General David Petraeus in his new role as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A).
"I am a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and I consider it my responsibility to meet with our troops and with the civilians and US and Afghan political leadership," said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. "This is my second trip to Afghanistan, and I am humbled by the enormous sacrifices being made by our service members and their families. However, I have great concerns about the concept of nation building, the rampant corruption, and the Taliban using money from the drugs there to fund the fight against our troops. I believe our best chance for success depends on the local tribes' willingness to defend their own backyard."
Shea-Porter met with General David Petraeus, Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and other top US and Afghan military and civilian leaders. They discussed the training of combat forces, combat operations, local defense initiatives, reconstruction efforts, oversight of contractors, and the training of the Afghan National Army and National Police. Shea-Porter also met with deployed service members, wounded warriors, and military families.
Representatives Michael Turner (R-OH), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Mark Schauer (D-MI) participated in Shea-Porter's CODEL.