Washington, DC -- House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

 “Seven years ago, al Qaeda terrorists intent on destroying symbols of American power ruthlessly killed thousands of innocent people.  Today, Osama bin Laden is still at large and the security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. 

 “The genesis of the 9/11 attacks emerged from al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, but the United States has not given the war in Afghanistan the priority attention it deserves, primarily due to our commitments in Iraq.  This is unacceptable, particularly when military and intelligence officials predict that this volatile region is the most likely source of a future attack against our country. 

 “The current state of affairs must change – U.S. security and the security of our allies demand renewed focus in Afghanistan.  This is a fight that we owe to those who lost their lives on 9/11, to those who have dedicated themselves to the fight against terror in the years since, and to our fellow citizens today and tomorrow.  

 “Although the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks will resonate for generations, the terrorists’ coldblooded violence will never break the American spirit, alter our values, or shake our resolve.  The job of protecting the American people is a perpetual responsibility, but we are blessed with dedicated men and women, in uniformed and civilian roles, who serve our nation with honor at home and abroad.  As we remember the fallen today, all of us must renew our commitment to do all that is necessary to protect our families, our communities, and our nation.”