Washington D.C. – Today, as the House Armed Services Committee proceeds with the markup of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Ranking Member Adam Smith will offer an amendment to remove sections of the bill that aim to prevent the United States from accelerating the transition of security and governance to the Afghan people.
“Recent events, such as the strategic agreement signed by the President and the death of Osama Bin Laden, combined with the heroic actions of our men and women in uniform, have paved the way for us to transition governance and security to the Afghan people,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith. “While this region will continue to be unstable and difficult, and there are no certainties, we have reached the point where our best hope to promote stability in the region is to transition responsibly for governance and security to the Afghan people as soon as we responsibly can. After ten years of war, the American people have paid a steep price for the conflict in Afghanistan and it is time to bring this war to an end as soon as we responsibly can.”
Ranking Member Smith’s amendment will strike Section 1216 of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, provisions that could extend that conflict and U.S. commitments in Afghanistan - commitments which are unwise and counter to our national security.
Ranking Member Smith believes that we should be accelerating our withdraw and, in the form of an amendment, will offer a sense of Congress to replace section 1216 with text that states, “It is the sense of Congress that the President should accelerate the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces and draw down United States military forces in Afghanistan as quickly as possible to the minimum force level necessary to conduct counter terrorism missions against Al Qaeda and train and equip the Afghan National Security Forces.”