Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) warned of the need for patience for the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan, six days after the assault in neighboring Pakistan that led to Osama bin Laden's death.
Brown said in the weekly Republican address that work still lay ahead to ensure that Afghanistan doesn't once again become a safe haven for terrorist groups like al Qaeda, the bin Laden-led group whose attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 prompted the war in Afghanistan.
"After so many years, there's a temptation to despair of ever gaining a final victory against our enemies," Brown said. "But if we've learned anything this past week, it's that our patient commitment to even the hardest objectives will be rewarded."
Many opponents of continuing the nearly ten-year-long war in Afghanistan have used bin Laden's killing as a pretext for withdrawing U.S. troops from the region more quickly than had been planned.
President Obama has said that the U.S. will begin an orderly withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in July, but the administration has yet to determine just how quickly of a pace troops will leave.
Obama told troops at Ft. Campbell, Ky., on Friday that getting bin Laden would not hasten a U.S. withdrawal.
Brown offered praise for Obama and former President George W. Bush, as well as members of the military and intelligence communities, for the successful mission to kill bin Laden. But he warned against any quick end to the war, which Brown said most continue to ensure safety in the region.
"As much as we all wish it could be ended as suddenly and as permanently as the career of bin Laden, the war goes on, and it still demands our attention and our commitment to victory," he said.
"Early in the conflict, America and our allies devastated the al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan," Brown added. "Yet Al-Qaeda is still at work, and that is why we need to prepare the Afghan security forces to protect their own people. We must ensure that Afghanistan does not once again become a sanctuary for terrorists."
Brown is a member of the Massachusetts Army Reserve, and announced this week that he'd requested that he be sent to Afghanistan for his yearly training service required as part of his service.
Brown is also up for reelection in 2012 in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts. The centrist senator made Obama's prosecution of the war on terror a key part of his upset campaign in January 2010 to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) in the Senate.