Over most of the past decade, America's men and women in uniform have served with unmatched bravery, valor, and courage in the hills of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq. Regardless of disagreements on policy, Democrats have stood behind our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, as they demonstrate why they remain the finest armed forces anywhere in the world.
The best way to support our troops - in Iraq and Afghanistan - is to ensure that their sacrifice on the ground is matched with a clear strategy for victory and with the resources to get the job done and come home safely. After years of poor planning by the previous Administration, the Democratic Congress and President Obama are moving in a New Direction - ending the war in Iraq and returning Iraq to its government and its people, and refocusing on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Our nation's leaders have no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the American people. That means maintaining a strong military and deploying our men and women in uniform only when necessary. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, we will continue to do everything in our power to act in the best interests of our country's families, conclude our mission, and bring the members of our armed forces home.
From the first days of the New Direction Congress, we have acted to take the war in Iraq down a different path - ending a war of choice fought on faulty intelligence, a battle that has cost America too much in terms of lives, dollars, and our reputation around the world.
The Democratic-led Congress has given our armed forces the support, armor, tools, and equipment to succeed and stay safe. We've improved oversight and accountability for the taxpayer funds dedicated to the war, and we've worked to return power to the Iraqis, end the war, and move our troops out of harm's way. In just the past year, we have witnessed critical progress toward reaching our goals. The responsibility for securing Iraq's cities has been turned over to Iraq's government. America's military will end all combat operations by the end of this summer, and the withdrawal of all U.S. forces will be complete by the end of next year.
President Obama laid out a plan to change course in Afghanistan and end the war in a manner that serves and strengthens our national security. The President articulated a mission to defeat Al Qaeda and prevent terrorists from using Afghanistan and Pakistan as safe havens to launch attacks against the United States and our allies. The Administration is giving Afghanistan's leaders the chance to prove themselves as reliable partners, replacing rampant corruption with a commitment to good government and economic development.
As we work to conclude our mission, we must invest in better schools and local communities, opening the doors of opportunity to the next generation of Afghans and offering them hope for a better future.
Together with the President, Congress must uphold the promise of action against those who attacked us on September 11, 2001, and work to find a responsible way out of the war for our troops and for the Afghan people.
Learn more about legislation in the 111th Congress to support our troops:
- FY 2009 Supplemental to meet our troops' needs to wind down the war in Iraq, change strategy in Afghanistan and make retroactive stop loss payments to 185,000+ US Service Members»
- FY 2010 Defense Authorization including a 3.4% troop pay raise, strengthening military readiness, expanding support for military families, focusing our strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan and redeployment from Iraq, and military procurement reform»
- Expanding New GI Bill benefits to cover the full cost of a college education for all children of fallen U.S. service members»
- Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act »