U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzi announced the U.S. military in Afghanistan will move into a "support" role this spring. This transition, which will happen sooner than first projected, will focus on training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces.
"I am pleased that President Obama and President Karzai have agreed to an accelerated plan to end our combat operations in Afghanistan," Hanabusa said. "Having brought Osama Bin Laden to justice and having made significant strides in neutralizing Al Qaida, we have achieved our strategic objectives in Afghanistan. We will keep our commitment to the Afghan people by ensuring they are prepared to govern their own country, but it is time for Afghan forces to assume the lead role in their nation's security. This is a step in the right direction," said Hanabusa.
"I have always supported an expedited withdrawal, as long as it could be carried out in a safe and orderly manner. While the President's comments indicated that he envisions the transition continuing through the end of 2014, I believe we can and must end our combat operations sooner. After more than a decade of war, it is time to bring our brave men and women home and reunite them with those who wait for them, who also sacrificed so much for our country. As we move toward the close of this chapter in our history, I continue to stand in awe of the unwavering courage and dedication shown by the members of our Armed Services and their families. And to those who lost their lives and loved ones in service to our nation, we will never forget."