U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) today issued the following statement after President Obama delivered an address in which he called for a new strategy involving 30,000 additional U.S. forces in Afghanistan:
"In the end, the President made the right call to reaffirm our commitment to defeating al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The terrorist forces of al Qaeda and their militant allies in the Taliban cannot be allowed to reclaim Afghanistan as a safe base from which to plot, prepare, and launch terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and our allies overseas.
"From my visits there and my work with Afghan women, I know well the importance showing the Afghan people that we are resolute in our commitment to eradicate terrorist threats and provide the security they need to quickly establish a stable civil society and field fully-trained Afghan security forces as American troops return home. At the same time, it is they who are responsible for the future of their country -- not us.
"It is my hope that, as Commander-in-Chief, the President stays true to his word in taking into account conditions on the ground when considering future troop decisions. We should set clear mission goals for success, but petty political debates cannot be viewed by our enemies or the Afghan people as a weakening of resolve or a willingness to walk away from our commitments when the clock winds down. The President will need to stay true to our mission, and reject calls by members of his own party who would stand down from this critical task according to arbitrary timetables that only embolden our enemies and place American lives at risk.
"I look forward to hearing from our military commanders, who will be testifying before Congress about the new plan in the coming days. I hope to hear much greater detail about this plan, deployment levels, and strategies for political and military victory. I stand ready to support the President's call for reinforcements, and I look forward to ensuring that our troops have the support and equipment they need to achieve their mission as quickly and safely as possible."