Congressman Brian Baird (WA-03) left Afghanistan today after a day of meetings with U.S. and Afghanistan officials. Congressman Baird met with Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General David Petraeus and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the economic, political and security status in Afghanistan. Congressman Baird was joined by Congressmen Bob Inglis (R-SC), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Bill Shuster (R-PA) on this Congressional Delegation (CoDel) trip.
"The war in Afghanistan is now the longest war in our nation's history, and it is critical now that we have a clear plan for success," said Congressman Baird. "It was very valuable to hear from President Karzai about the role Afghans will play in the war. Our brave men and women deserve a focused effort to achieve victory over Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. Meeting with General Petraeus reaffirmed to me that he can lead us to complete our mission in Afghanistan."
During the CoDel trip to Kabul and Kandahar, Congressmen Baird, Inglis, Larsen, and Shuster also met with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry to assess economic and political progress and Afghanistan Minister of Defense Abdul Wardak to discuss security progress. The CoDel also met with Special Operations Forces for a briefing on counter terrorism technology.
Congressman Baird also met with troops from the 204th Engineer Battalion and the 168th Aviation Battalion, units that are both a contingent of the Washington National Guard.