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Cole's Comments on President's Afghanistan Strategy

March 27, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) issued the following statement today regarding President Obama's call for a new strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"The situation in Afghanistan is fluid, so I welcome the new strategic direction that the administration announced this morning," Congressman Cole said.  "Many skilled military advisors have recommended a troop level increase to our President, and I am pleased that he is heeding their advice."

"Al Qaeda extremists are continuing to use Afghanistan as a staging ground and then travelling to the northern provinces of Pakistan to find safe-haven.  This is a complex problem that must be addressed.  That's why I support President Obama's call for a regional approach that recognizes the nature of this conflict.  We must work with Pakistan to address the fluidity of the border and encourage them to stand against the forces of terror that undermine the security of their own country, as well as the entire region."  

"I also want to commend the President for reaffirming our joint commitment to our allies to fight the forces of terror and extend freedom where it is threatened.  Reaching victory will require us to continue to work in conjunction with other like-minded nations.  Intense military and diplomatic efforts are needed to dismantle extremism and rebuild democracy abroad."

 "Finally, the sacrifices made by our U.S. military should never be far from our minds.  They are the lynchpin of our nation's security.  And as we move forward with troop increases, we must make sure that they have every resource necessary to succeed."