Following the events of September 11, 2001, the United States took military action to remove the Taliban government in Afghanistan for its support of Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda. This action, known as Operation Enduring Freedom, began on October 7, 2001. By the end of 2001, the Taliban had been overthrown. Elements hostile to the United States had been cleared from the country and a new government was sworn in.
Ten years later, thousands of casualties and hundreds of billions of dollars later, the U.S., NATO and the Afghan state are still fighting elements of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other forces that are still attempting to overthrow the democratically-elected government in Kabul.
Though many have expressed concerns about the reasons for our engagement abroad, I believe it is our obligation to give those who have sacrificed so much to serve our nation all they need to ensure their safety and ability to complete their mission. I am concerned about the growing cost of the wars abroad, as well as the expanding Pentagon budget, given our current budgetary difficulties. I believe we must ensure that we are guarding taxpayer dollars while meeting our nation's defense needs.