Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) issued the following statement in advance of President Obama's remarks this evening regarding U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan:
"While I share the President's desire to bring our brave troops home from Afghanistan as soon as possible, I am concerned that political calculations factored heavily in this decision. We've made great strides toward handing over total control of operations to the Afghans, but those gains are fragile and subject to setbacks. Al Qaeda retains a presence in Afghanistan and remains strongly allied with the Taliban, who have dug in and made clear they would rather destroy their own country than give up their terrorist hold over the Afghan people.
"As an Air Force veteran, I understand the importance of listening to the commanders in the field. Our commanders are the best military strategists in the world, and once given clear and unambiguous national security objectives by the President, they are much more qualified to determine required troop composition and strength. We've learned repeatedly that fighting our nation's wars from the Oval Office does not work."