House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement prior to the President’s speech regarding the United States strategy in Afghanistan:
“President Obama made it clear early on in his campaign for the Presidency that he understood the severity of the threat emanating from Afghanistan. Upon taking office, he acted on his campaign pledge and made Afghanistan a priority. That focus has since paid dividends and we have seen significant progress over the last year and a half.
“The gains we have seen are real and substantial and the men and women of our Armed Forces should be commended for these achievements. However, the cost of our efforts in Afghanistan – in terms of money and lives – is a significant strain on our nation and we must begin to responsibly reduce our commitments.
“Leading up to the President’s speech tonight I believe there is one certainty: our men and women in uniform have bravely implemented a strategy that has yielded significant progress and we can now begin to bring them home. I look forward to hearing more from the President this evening. ”