By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, August 22, 2017 U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) expressed her support for President Donald J. Trump’s (R) decision to reverse himself and recommit to the 16 years long War in Afghanistan.
Congresswoman Roby said, “The President’s decision on Afghanistan was not an easy one, but it is the right one. I appreciate the President laying out a thorough vision for a new way forward in Afghanistan while not giving away our strategy to the enemy. Our goal should be to keep our country safe by eliminating safe havens for terrorism, and the President made that clear tonight.”
Rep. Roby added, “As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I stand ready to ensure our men and women in uniform have all the tools and resources they need to defeat the enemy. I outlined my thoughts on Afghanistan in this column earlier this summer.”
President Trump said, “Nearly 16 years after September 11th attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the American people are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history — 17 years.”
Pres. Trump said, “I share the American people’s frustration. I also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money, and most importantly lives, trying to rebuild countries in our own image, instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations. That is why, shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia.”
The Commander and Chief continued, “My original instinct was to pull out — and, historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office; in other words, when you’re President of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy. I arrived at three fundamental conclusions about America’s core interests in Afghanistan.”
The President said, “Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11th. And, as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq. As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS. The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit, and launch attacks. We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.”
Trump said, “Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Trump said that we are going to, “Shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions,” and, “We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.”
Trump addressed the other countries in the region. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.” “Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India.” “I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our warfighters that prevented the Secretary of Defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy. Micromanagement from Washington, D.C. does not win battles. They are won in the field drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders and frontline soldiers acting in real time, with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.”
Trump continued, “As we lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field, we are already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq.” “Since my inauguration, we have achieved record-breaking success in that regard. We will also maximize sanctions and other financial and law enforcement actions against these networks to eliminate their ability to export terror.” “We will fight to win.”
U.S. Senator Luther Strange (R) also supports the President’s plan. Strange said on social media, “Tonight, President Donald J. Trump put forward a bold plan to win in Afghanistan. This is the speech our troops deserved to hear for years under President Obama and never did. They deserve commitment, dedication, and praise from the Commander in Chief, and tonight, they heard that loud and clear.”
Strange is in a Republican Primary runoff with former Chief Justice Roy Moore on September 26.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
To read President Trump’s speech in its entirety:
Hash Tags: Afghanistan, war, terrorism, ISIS, Pres. Donald Trump, Congress, Rep. Martha Roby, withdrawal, Mosul, Iraq, Syria, Secretary of Defense, Pakistan, India, Congress