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Jim Banks @RepJimBanks
, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Just left Afghanistan with a bipartisan Congressional delegation I led and wanted to share a few raw and unedited thoughts on my first trip back since being deployed there in 2014-15.
While much has changed, too much remains the same in Afghanistan. It’s clear to me that the security situation has deteriorated even further since I was deployed there, and the Taliban has taken footholds in new parts of country since failed Obama strategy of drawdown 5 yrs ago.
After visiting troops and leaders on the ground in Afghanistan, I'm convinced our efforts there are as important as ever, as the level of threats has evolved in recent months, but after 17 years the American people are growing even more weary.
After discussions with @ResoluteSupport @USambkabul and even @ashrafghani, it's clear that there is sense of optimism and reconciliation is within reach due to efforts of @us4afghanpeace and others. This gives hope to many as the recent ceasefire was evidence of some progress.
Whether peace with Taliban is realistic or not, it is clear that the mission in Afghanistan of protecting the homeland persists with rising threat of ISIS-K and other groups that pose serious and imminent threats to Americans.
Our ongoing efforts in Afghanistan are necessary to ensure another 9/11 does not occur. I remain committed to supporting these efforts and to seeing a successful conclusion reached there ASAP.
While I’ve been agnostic on recent criticisms of President Trump for not visiting our troops, I do believe it would be helpful to him to better understand the evolving threats in Afghanistan if he saw the situation firsthand, and I will encourage him to do so.
I did hear over and over again that the Administration through @SecPompeo and @VP are very engaged with leaders there and they appreciate their leadership. #Afghanistan
I also repeat my earlier call for the Trump Administration to provide a serious progress report to the American people now that we are more than a year past the announcement of the South Asia Strategy.…
The American people deserve to know how the South Asia Strategy is working and why our ongoing investment there is important. Either a visit by the President or a presidential address could go a long way to provide this update and assure public that this is too important to fail.
When this President provides leadership on important issues, he succeeds (tax cuts, economy, rebuilding military). I strongly encourage him to turn focus more to Afghanistan so that history will show he was the President who successfully ended the longest war in American history.
On a personal note, this week marks 4th anniversary of the passing of SGM Turner, who was killed in suicide bomb attack outside our base. He was great man and leader, and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. I was glad to see the DFAC at @ResoluteSupport is named in his honor.
As we celebrate #Thanksgiving, let’s not forget the many who are serving abroad in dangerous places so that we may remain free. I recall this being a particularly tough holiday to be away from family. Today I remain as grateful as ever for those who serve. #NeverForget
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