Rep. Zeldin Statement Following the President's Speech Tonight re: Afghanistan Strategy

August 21, 2017
Press Release

Patchogue, NY - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, just released a statement following the President’s speech tonight, where President Trump outlined United States strategy in Afghanistan:
“President Trump tonight outlined key components of our nation’s Afghanistan strategy, which will be based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary deadlines, and will improve the integration of diplomatic, economic and military options to support our interests in the country.

While training additional Afghan military and law enforcement personnel, there are also other factors that must be considered as part of a winning strategy. Those include: (1) A more stable political environment in Afghanistan; (2) The Afghan government taking control over more territory within its country; (3) Disbanding more of the opposition forces that exist, especially Al Qaeda and the Islamic State threat that exists to the United States; and (4) Improving the security situation in the mountainous border.

The President’s strategy also holds accountable nations like Pakistan, that continue to harbor terrorists who pose a threat to our security, and seeks to strengthen strategic partnerships with nations in the region such as India, that share our common goal of a stable Afghanistan and region. 

I have always believed that we should never send our troops into harm's way unless they are sent with a clear strategy to win. We must send our troops to win or not send them at all. Success is the only option. We must also ensure that our commanders on the ground have the resources and flexibility they need to implement their plans. For years, we have been trying not to lose in Afghanistan. Now is the time to win and end this never ending war altogether.”

Last Christmas, Congressman Zeldin traveled with a bipartisan Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Afghanistan and other countries in the CENTCOM area of operations. While in Afghanistan, Congressman Zeldin met with GEN John Nicholson, Jr. and other top civilian and military leadership to discuss operations in theater. Read more here.