Kabul, Afghanistan -- In the wake of the pivotal first round of voting, and the midst of the country’s first-ever democratic, peaceful transfer of political authority, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and a group of senior House Members visited Afghanistan to assess the political progress in the country, the security situation, and the transition of American forces after more than a decade.
“Since shortly after 9/11,” Boehner said, “our troops have fought to bring peace and security to Afghanistan and to ensure it can never again be used as a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States. Many Americans have sacrificed to secure these goals, and far too many have made the ultimate sacrifice or suffered life-changing wounds in the past twelve years of fighting. Now, the Afghans are poised to elect a new government for the first time in their history. We must honor the sacrifices of the Americans and Afghans who have given so much to reach this point and continue our work together. I appreciated hearing from Ambassador Cunningham and General Dunford about the status of those efforts. More than that, it was an honor to meet with so many members of the American Armed Forces and civilians who work to protect our nation every day. I thank them all for their service and hope that political leaders in Washington and Kabul will always prove worthy of their trust.”
Speaker Boehner was accompanied by Education & Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), and Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR).
The group met with American troops stationed in Afghanistan, as well as Ambassador James B. Cunningham and General Joseph F. Dunford. The delegation sent a strong, unequivocal message that the House of Representatives wants to maintain a right-sized presence in Afghanistan to successfully complete the work that has been done to date, and to honor the sacrifice of thousands of troops and civilians, as well as their families.
Discussions focused on the impact of the election, the role of American troops going forward, and the continuing economic development of Afghanistan. The visit to Afghanistan is one stop on a trip that focuses on national security, as well as American jobs.