Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Importance of Afghanistan Mission

Statement

By:  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Date: June 22, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the importance of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan:

"While I understand the public's concern about the cost of the Afghan war in blood and treasure, as well as the frustration of my constituents who tell me that it is long past time for the Afghans to take more responsibility for their future, I believe that successfully completing our mission in Afghanistan is vital to our immediate and long-term national security interests.

"The killing of Osama bin Laden does not mean that the job in Afghanistan is done. Al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremists are on the ropes, but remain resilient. These extremists will never stop waging war against the United States, and the failure to complete our mission in Afghanistan will give them a base from which to wage that war against us.

"Any reduction of our troop levels in Afghanistan must be conditions-based and supported by our commanders on the ground. The President has said that the gains we have made are fragile and reversible. While we all want to bring the troops home, we must not do so in a way that would forfeit their hard-won gains.

"As always, we thank and honor those brave men and women in our Armed Forces who are putting their own safety at risk in order to protect the safety and security of our country. My daughter-in-law, Lindsay, is a Marine Corps pilot who served in Afghanistan. Our commitment to all of those who serve and have served in Afghanistan must be to support their vital mission and ensure its success."