WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after the United States and the Taliban in Afghanistan successfully implemented a weeklong reduction in violence (RIV) and signed a new, conditions-based peace agreement:
“Today’s peace agreement is an encouraging first step towards ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan in the most responsible way possible. I was cautiously optimistic about the RIV and encouraged to see it progress to the formal conditions-based peace process. After years of armed conflict – and ongoing efforts to responsibly end the fighting that has cost the lives of too many U.S. service members, coalition partners, Afghan Security Forces, and innocent Afghan citizens – Afghans and Americans alike are ready to see an end to the violence.
“However, this agreement marks a beginning, not an end. There is still much work to be done to ensure safety and stability in Afghanistan and the region, particularly through continued investments by the State Department and USAID. While I support a potential drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan, any reduction must be carefully executed to ensure stability in the region. In order to contain the terrorist threat as we draw down our troop levels, it is critical that we coordinate closely with our allies as well as our partners in the Afghan government.
“I look forward to the next step in the peace process – the intra-Afghan dialogue between the people of Afghanistan and the Taliban – and encourage both parties to begin this important discussion as soon as possible. As a country, we have invested far too much – in blood and treasure – to risk letting this opportunity pass us by.”