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Hearing of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee - Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Historical Lessons


Location: Washington, DC

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee met today for a hearing on Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Historical Lessonss. Chairman Robert Wittman made the following statement available as prepared for delivery:

Today the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee convenes the third in our series of hearings related to the Afghan National Security Forces.

We have assembled a panel of specialists to provide testimony about historical examples of indigenous forces assuming security responsibility from allied military units.

In considering the U.S. drawdown in Vietnam, the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the U.S. redeployment from Iraq, the subcommittee will explore lessons applicable to the current plans to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan and place the Afghan National Security Forces in the lead by 2014.

We recognize, of course, that past events do not offer precise analogies to the current situation. Nonetheless, historical experiences can be illuminating when considering contemporary policy.

Our panel today includes:

Dr. Lewis "Bob" Sorley, an historian and author of several books, including A Better War: the Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam;

Dr. Mark Moyar, also an historian and author of several books, including Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965;

Dr. Joseph Collins, Professor of National Security Strategy, National War College; and

Ms. Olga Oliker, Director, International & Security Policy Department, RAND Corporation.

Thank you for your participation. We look forward to your testimony.

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