WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today reacted to the Obama administration’s announcement on the changing roles of our nation’s troops in Afghanistan. Yesterday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the United States expected to end combat operations in 2013 in Afghanistan and transition to a train and advise role through 2014.
“President Obama’s decision is purely political and the shift in strategy is not based on current ground conditions or recommendations by senior military leaders in command of the operation,” said Inhofe. “Playing politics with our troops so that President Obama can tout how he ended the war in Iraq and is on track to end the war in Afghanistan during his bid for reelection is unconscionable.
“During a recent meeting I had with Ambassador Crocker in Kabul, he reiterated the need for strategic patience in Afghanistan. He is correct. Any decision to decrease forces in Afghanistan should be based on events on the ground and by the recommendations from commanders in the field. The politicization of the process is dangerous for our troops deployed in harm’s way, Afghanistan’s future, and our national security. While great gains have been made in training and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces, it would be disastrous to turn over security of Afghanistan to them too soon. The Taliban remains a credible threat to the United States and the world as they are determined to retake Afghanistan.