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KINGSTON GIVES SOBER ASSESMENT ON AFGHANISTAN
In speech to local veterans group, Congressman calls for increased focus to ongoing war
Washington, Sep 17, 2009 -
In a speech this weekend to the Golden Isles Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, Congressman Jack Kingston (R/GA-1) gave a sober assessment of the war in Afghanistan and called on the Obama Administration and leaders in Congress to devote more attention to the war in Afghanistan.
“While the most important issue right now may appear to be health care, the number one issue is still our troops in the field and our national security,” Congressman Kingston said. “Eight years after we sent troops there, we have yet to round the corner. With 68,000 on the ground, the highway running from Kabul to Kandahar remains unsafe for traffic. Until we have safe roads and villages, we cannot have commerce and without commerce, we are going to have a nation led by warlords, terrorists and other extremists.”
During his remarks, Congressman Kingston noted that August was the deadliest month in the conflict there and that roadside fatalities had increased by 400%. The White House this week is expected to receive a report from General Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, calling for additional troops. A request, he says, is unlikely to be honored by the current congressional leadership.
Congressman Kingston believes fighting a war is not equivalent to resolving policy issues like health care, the economy, immigration or education and that the President has mishandled the war in treating it as if it were.
“In war there are a lot of surprises and we have to be able to constantly change course,” said Congressman Kingston. “We have to be agile and we have to get it right – the costs of mistakes are the lives of Americans.”
During the speech, Congressman Kingston took a moment to mark the loss of three soldiers in the month of August with ties to Coastal Georgia. Captain Matthew Freeman of Richmond Hill, who Congressman Kingston nominated to the Naval Academy, as well as Private Eric Hario and Staff Sergeant Jason Dahlke who were both stationed at Hunter Army Airfield died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.