Roe Statement on Kucinich Afghanistan Resolution
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-1) issued the following statement on H. Con. Res. 248, sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH):
Madame Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution. If passed, this would send a terrible message to our troops in harms’ way and only serve to boost morale among our enemies, who now face the reality that they are being tracked night and day.
I served in the Army in Korea, and saw what happened in Vietnam when Washington bureaucrats and lawmakers micromanaged a war and prevented commanders from having the resources available which they thought would win. I will never support a plan for this or any future war in which I think we are tying the hands of our brave service-members.
In my judgment, the strategy devised by our military leaders and being implemented by our armed forces is the correct course. I have always said I will support this military plan so long as we do not set arbitrary dates for withdrawal from the country, which will only set a target date for those who would kill our young men and women.
It is important that we do not forget why we are in Afghanistan. We are fighting this war because the previous Afghan regime allowed al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for countless attacks around the globe including the September 11 attacks against the United States, to operate freely within its borders. If the coalition forces leave, the Taliban could regain control of the country and once again provide safe harbor for those who hate America and want to destroy our country.
Winning the war in Afghanistan also will help deter a radical Islamic government from taking over Pakistan, a country with over 50 nuclear weapons. It seems that in recent months, since our surge in forces has begun, we have seen Pakistan become more willing to confront radical elements within its borders, and while there is much work left to be done, there is no question that our more aggressive strategy against the enemy is having many positive benefits.
In April 2009, I participated in a Congressional delegation visit to Afghanistan to observe our operations firsthand. I can tell you without hesitation that we all have reason to be proud of our men and women serving in Afghanistan – they are doing a great job. What they need now is support and a clear signal from Washington that the job they are accomplishing is appreciated and in our national interest. By soundly defeating this resolution today, hopefully we will send such a message.