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McKeon comments on Sept. 11 anniversary

Posted: September 14, 2009 5:29 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2009 5:26 p.m.
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Commemorating the eighth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland, Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, today called on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to fully resource and support the U.S. military and diplomatic missions in Afghanistan.

Rep. McKeon's statement follows:

"Eight years ago, al-Qaeda terrorists, dedicated to destroying America, rocked our nation by attacking the U.S. homeland. Our country lost thousands of its sons, daughters, moms, dads, friends and loved ones on that beautiful morning. We will never forget the outpouring of support for the victims and their families or the immense sacrifices of the American people that we witnessed. These selfless acts warmed our hearts even as we mourned our significant losses.

"Since that fateful day, we have experienced considerable success against al-Qaeda and its terrorist network. Our military, working with Afghan militias, quickly expelled the Taliban from Kabul. Osama bin Laden is hiding in a cave somewhere. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and other co-conspirators are in U.S. custody. We have learned valuable information about al-Qaeda operatives, tactics, and networks that has kept the homeland safe for eight years.

"Despite these successes, much more needs to be done before we can claim victory. The Taliban and al-Qaeda are resurgent in Afghanistan and the tribal region of Pakistan. The President has provided our military and diplomatic leaders, led ably by General Stanley McChrystal and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, with a new strategy based on sound counterinsurgency principles.

"Soon, Congress will be briefed on General McChrystal's assessment of the situation in Afghanistan. Additionally, General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry are expected to identify in the coming weeks what resources are required to achieve success. At that point, it will be up to the President and Congress to do the right thing and fully resource the mission.

"Some in the Administration and Congress are already questioning the wisdom of implementing a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy and down-playing the importance of providing additional resources, including more troops, to the mission. Narrowing the effort in Afghanistan or withholding vital resources from our troops and diplomats would be a major error, guarantee continued stalemate, and could eventually lead to defeat. Now is the time for the President and my colleagues in Congress to recommit ourselves to the mission in Afghanistan and provide General McChrystal enough troops to succeed. The world, including our allies and enemies, are watching to see how we respond. "

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