Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) reacted to today’s testimony from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, concerning U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the House Armed Services Committee today that ‘In Afghanistan, we do what we can; in Iraq, we do what we must.’ 

    “This striking statement highlights the strain Iraq is placing on our force and how this affects our ability to achieve strategic victory in Afghanistan, the primary front of the fight against Islamic extremism.  I find it troubling that our ongoing commitment in Iraq prevents us from dedicating resources in Afghanistan beyond what is necessary to prevent setbacks, as opposed to what is required to realize success.

    “I have often said that Afghanistan seems like the forgotten war.  I was assured by our witnesses today that the war in Afghanistan isn’t forgotten, but it’s clear that the stress on our military elsewhere has limited our ability to succeed in Afghanistan and has taken our attention away from this critical operation.”