Tim Kaine’s statement on President Obama’s Afghanistan speech follows. I mostly agree, although I’d tie our security more to Yemen and especially Pakistan (what a mess; Christopher Hitchens has a particularly harsh take) at this point than to Afghanistan, if we’re talking about specific countries (as opposed to non-state actors) we need to worry about. All in all, I’m happy to see that we’re finally winding down the two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, that began in the aftermath of the 9/11/01 attacks. At this point, nearly 10 years later, we certainly need to keep Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups off balance and under constant pressure, but whether we really need to be occupying territory at such high cost, especially when we have such urgent needs here at home, is highly debatable. What do you think?
Tonight’s announcement marks an important step for the United States in the global war against terrorism – a step that would not have been possible without the strategy employed by President Obama to dismantle al Qaeda’s senior leadership and eliminate the organization’s central command. I commend the President, our military leaders and the troops who carried out those missions, including the extraordinary Virginia Beach-based Navy SEALS responsible for capturing and killing Osama bin Laden, for a job well done.
Tonight is also a time to reflect on the sacrifice of so many American men and women who served in Afghanistan over the last decade as well as their families, many of whom are our neighbors and friends right here in the Commonwealth.
There is still more work to be done, but we are safer tonight than we were in the months following September 11th thanks to the leadership of our commanders and the bravery and dedication of our troops. As we move forward we must remember that our security is inherently linked to the situation in Afghanistan. I commend the President for his announcement and pray for a safe return of our troops still serving in the region.