The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee met today for a hearing on Accountability and Reform Efforts at the Afghan National Military Hospital. Chairman Robert Wittman made the following opening statement:
"I'd like to welcome our witnesses:
- Mr. David Sedney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia; and
- Ambassador Kenneth Moorefield, Deputy Inspector General for Special Plans and Operations.
"Thank you for your participation today and we look forward to hearing your testimony. Ambassador Moorefield, in particular, I would like to thank you for the work you've done on monitoring these issues. I hope you'll let your team know how much this committee appreciates their noteworthy dedication to a challenging mission.
"I have traveled to Afghanistan many times in the last few years and I have seen, particularly during my last trip this June, the great progress that has taken place since the surge began.
"The key to sustaining this progress is building a capable Afghan National Security Force. And, of course, the support systems to maintain it, including a medical care system responsible for the health and well-being of those who have served and sacrificed. Taking care of these troops is absolutely critical to this mission and must be a continued area of focus as we move forward.
"I was both disheartened and disgusted when I saw the pictures showing patient abuse and neglect at the Military Hospital -- an institution where coalition forces serve as advisers and mentors. We can and must do better to ensure that these troops receive adequate medical care. Anything less is detrimental to our mission and compromises our efforts to secure Afghanistan's future.
"As I understand it, no one to date has been held criminally responsible for what happened. Moreover, there has been no accounting of the millions of dollars of funds and medical supplies that disappeared since these issues came to light. I hope you'll provide us with explanations and detail the systemic reforms aimed at preventing this from happening again."