By Michael Amato
Congressman Adam Smith recently returned from leading a Congressional Delegation to Afghanistan. The delegation met with U.S. and Afghan officials, U.S. and NATO commanders, and U.S. military personnel to assess the political, civil and military developments on the ground.
“I recently had the opportunity to visit our service men and women in a number of different regions across Afghanistan and it is clear that they are doing a tremendous job in a very difficult situation,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “We are beginning to see some signs of success. They have created some space in regions where the Taliban was once prominent. This space is now allowing U.S. and NATO personnel to work with local partners and make progress toward establishing functional governance and civil institutions.”
“While we are beginning to see some signs of progress,” continued Smith. “I remain very concerned about the high cost of our efforts and the challenges we continue to face in developing a reliable partner in the Afghan government. We have a significant national security threat in the region and we must make certain that there is a clear, more cost-efficient policy to both ensure the security and stability of Afghanistan and to responsibly draw down our military forces.
Smith, who chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, organized the trip to help educate key Congressional Members on civil, military and political counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism initiatives in Afghanistan. Specifically, the focus of the trip was on interagency cooperation, special operations, intelligence and development activities in Afghanistan.
Smith formerly chaired the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, where he focused extensively on our nation’s counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and other regions of the world. His committee work and extensive travel to Afghanistan and the region has allowed him to develop extensive knowledge of the national security challenges we face.