Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. joined a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) Oversight Mission to Afghanistan last week. This was the first Congressional Oversight trip since General David Petraeus assumed responsibility in Afghanistan.
"As a member of the House of Representatives, it is my responsibility to communicate with our commanders and troops on the ground and audit our activities in Afghanistan," said Congressman Kagen. "I am impressed by the effort we have made in 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 possibility of our taxpayer dollars being used to help fuel the fight against our troops. The time has come for the Afghan government to step up and take control of their own country."
"We cannot afford to continue our current activities in Afghanistan without making significant reductions in our own standard of living and way of life here at home," continued Kagen. "The question remains: Where do you want to build the next school or highway with your tax dollars-overseas in Afghanistan, or right here at home in Wisconsin?"
Kagen met with General David Petraeus, Special Inspectors General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR), members of the Afghanistan Parliament and other U.S. and Afghan military and civilian leaders. They discussed training of the Afghan National Army and National Police; upcoming Afghan elections and the condition of the Afghani government; oversight of contractors and the status of construction projects across the country; and the long-term outlook of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
Kagen also met with deployed service members, wounded warriors, and military families at stops in Afghanistan and at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Joining Kagen on the Oversight Mission were Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Joe Barton (R-TX), Andre Carson (D-IN), and Ron Klein (D-FL).