The Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), released the following statement on the anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden and the signing of the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America:
"After ten years of war, the strategic partnership signed today creates a framework that allows the Afghans to take responsibility for their own security and broadly outlines our relationship with Afghanistan moving forward. Punctuated by the one year anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, this announcement underscores the fulfillment of a promise made by then-candidate Obama to responsibly bring the war in Afghanistan to an end.
"First and foremost, on this important day, we should remember and honor those who perished in the attacks on September 11th as well as all those who have died, been injured or fought in Afghanistan since that cowardly attack on our nation. All of these men and women will forever be in our thoughts.
"Upon taking office, President Obama rightly focused our efforts on the war in Afghanistan, which had been resource deprived. That strategic decision, combined with the heroic actions of our men and women in uniform, the efforts of our intelligence community and the President's decisive leadership, led to the death of Osama bin Laden and has paved the way for this strategic partnership and the eventual end of the war in Afghanistan. While this region will continue to be unstable and difficult, and there are no certainties, we have reached the point where our best hope to promote stability in the region is to transition responsibly for governance and security to the Afghan people as soon as we responsibly can. The agreement signed today is a step in the right direction.
"Simply put, Osama Bin Laden is dead, much of al-Qaeda's senior leadership has been decimated and it is time to bring our troops home as soon as we responsibly can. I applaud the Administration for continuing to move us toward an end of this conflict. The agreement signed today is a significant step forward for our two nations, and it establishes a new era of our partnership. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration as we responsibly bring the war to an end and ensure our national security."