I have great respect for our military, troops, and their families, and I believe that all Americans owe a deep debt of gratitude to the military and their families for all that they give to our country every day. While in Iraq, I saw with my own eyes that altering the United States' role in Iraq was needed--changing our strategy in Iraq is one of the best things that we can do for our troops, our national security, and for the people of that country. Therefore, I support the President's decision to end the combat mission in Iraq by August 31, 2010. This is the first step toward bringing our brave soldiers home and letting the Iraqi people take control and responsibility of their own country. While we are drawing down our forces in Iraq, the conditions in Afghanistan require enhanced steps to address the deteriorating security environment in the country. I firmly believe that success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked with security and rule of law in Pakistan. To this end, I have supported legislation that would increase resources for economic development in both countries, as well as build Afghan governing structures and improving Afghan security forces that can curb militant activity. Undoubtedly, I remain very concerned about putting our brave troops and civil servants in dangerous combat zones. Therefore I will continue to support funding for our troops and civil servants that ensures their safety through proper equipment and training.