By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery issued a press release to announce that she was en route back from her trip to Afghanistan today. The Alabama Congresswoman met with U.S. military forces in and around both Kabul and Kandahar.
Brecke Latham, Roby’s Communications Director said, “Rep. Roby is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which has oversight responsibilities over the U.S. military. She takes those responsibilities seriously, and was eager to return to Afghanistan to evaluate our progress there. She looks forward to returning to Alabama to share her observations with her constituents.”
Rep. Roby attended a luncheon with troops from Alabama that are deployed in Afghanistan, including one soldier from Enterprise. Rep. Roby distributed more than 200 handmade cards to U.S. troops. The cards were made by schoolchildren living throughout Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
Rep. Roby was part of a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) of five current members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of the trip to the war zone was “to observe U.S. military operations, receive briefings about NATO activities, and evaluate the contributions, efforts, and concerns of local Afghani women.”
Representative Roby and the other members of the Congressional Delegation are spending tonight in Bahrain, where the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is headquartered. The group will receive an update on the growing tensions between Israel and Iran before they return back to the United States.
This is the second time the Rep. Roby has been to Afghanistan.
Also today the Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Allen said, “”Combat operations will continue in the country throughout the period of the remainder of the ISAF mission, which will conclude on the 31st of December, 2014.”
Gen. Allen said, “I don’t want to, again, understate the challenge that we have ahead of us. The Taliban is still a resilient and capable opponent in the battle space. There’s no end of combat before the end of 2014. And in fact the Taliban will oppose the ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) after 2014.” General Allens said that while the Afghans will take the lead gradually, “it doesn’t mean that we won’t be fighting, it doesn’t mean there won’t be combat. And that’s important because there is a narrative out there that combat operations for the U.S. stops at milestone 2013. That is not, in fact, correct,” the general said. President Barack H. Obama is planning to draw U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan down to just 68,000 by September. The American pullout is supposed to be complete by December 31st 2014.
More than 3000 American soldiers have been killed in the conflict which began in 2001, following the 911 attacks.
Congresswoman Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. Rep. Roby is seeking her second term in the U.S. Congress.