Thompson: Sustained progress in Iraq is evident, Afghanistan remains volatile and fragile

Mar 2, 2009

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, issued the following statement on his weekend visit with U.S. Military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“Having the opportunity to meet with both General Ray Odierno, and General David McKiernan, the respective commanders of the ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, was a humbling and eye an opening experience. As a nation, we are extremely fortunate to have men (and women) of their stature leading our volunteer forces both at home and abroad.

“From my discussions with the commanders on the ground, and from my encounters with soldiers in the field, there is a strong sense of honor and patriotism in their voices. Yes, the mission is tough. And yes, they miss their families. But the underlying tone in each encounter was that they are making a difference and the people of Iraq are grateful for their presence.

 “So while there continues to be sustained progress in Iraq, Afghanistan remains volatile and fragile – the same could be said about Iraq before the surge. I have the utmost confidence that General McKiernan and his leadership team will make the right strategic decisions in their mission to root out Al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds and in their efforts to eliminate terrorist bases in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. 

“Our brave and courageous young men and women who selflessly serve this nation are doing an outstanding job protecting the homeland and fighting terror abroad. And it goes without question that I want to see our troops brought home –when the generals on the ground, not the politicians in Washington determine that is possible. Until that day, politicians on Capitol Hill should defer to our military leadership when discussing the resources needed to accomplish the mission at hand.”