Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement concerning recent news reports that the Administration may consider increasing its focus on operations in Afghanistan: 

 “Afghanistan is the primary front of the fight against Islamic extremism, but for too long we have taken our eye off the ball.  Along with many experts, I believe that we currently risk a strategic failure in Afghanistan and that we must do what it takes to avoid this disastrous outcome – our national security and Afghanistan’s future are at stake.  I am afraid that if we do not reallocate some resources from Iraq to Afghanistan, we risk two strategic failures, not just one.

 I am encouraged by reports that suggest the Administration may be listening to calls for an increased focus on Afghanistan and is considering a range of steps to stop the deterioration of security conditions in the country.  I consider this to be a positive development and urge the Administration to act because movement in this direction is long overdue.  We must help Afghanistan capitalize on gains that have been made and create the conditions necessary to achieve long-lasting success there.”