U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, issued a statement Tuesday encouraging President Obama to show leadership and move to authorize additional U.S. troop reinforcements for Afghanistan. McKeon’s statement follows:
“Sunday the President’s chief political advisor suggested that the Commander-in-Chief must wait until after the Afghan presidential election results are released before making any decision to send additional troop reinforcements to Afghanistan.
“Are the Taliban waiting for these results to be released before they attack our troops and Afghan civilians?
“By definition, insurgencies exist in the absence of strong governance. If Afghans viewed their central and local governments as ‘legitimate’, then the Taliban would not be gaining momentum. As long as the President delays fully resourcing his March counterinsurgency strategy, legitimate governance will not be restored and the Taliban will fill the void and continue to press its advantage.
“As General McChrystal’s assessment makes clear, time is of the essence and failure to seize the initiative risks failure. The Commander needs and has asked for additional resources to reverse Taliban momentum.
“Now is the time for the Commander-in-Chief to lead. A strategy that remains in limbo is a disservice to the nearly 70,000 American sons and daughters currently serving in Afghanistan. Two weeks ago the President told Members of Congress that his decision will be timely. My hope and expectation is that the President will make a decision to provide additional resources soon and stick with it.”