WASHINGTON- Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on President Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan and the planned address to the nation tonight:"After nearly a year of not speaking about the war and 17 months of not visiting the war zone, this visit and speech is long overdue. It shouldn't require congressional pressure, editorials from leading newspapers, and a presidential election to get the President to fulfill his role as commander in chief and speak to the American people about the war in Afghanistan. I sincerely hope that it won't be another year before we hear from our President on this important topic. However overdue, visits like this mean a lot to the men and women serving in Afghanistan and I am glad President Obama is taking the time to speak with them directly."
This year Chairman McKeon has been joined by the editorial boards of the Wall Street Journal (4/16/12) and the Washington Post (3/13/12, 3/20/12, 4/23/12) in calling on the President to make the public case for his strategy in Afghanistan. Last month, Chairman McKeon sent a letter to Secretary Panetta, laying out his concerns on the agreements reached as a precursor to the strategic agreement the President will sign today. That letter can be found here.