Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued the following statement Wednesday night after President Obama announced that he would withdraw 33,000 American troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012:
"Decisions about troop levels in Afghanistan need to be made according to conditions on the ground, recommendations of our military commanders and a clear advancement of our national security interests. Great care must be taken to ensure that decisions are based on military strategy, not political calculations. The President correctly noted that even though a portion of our American forces will be coming home, we are not retreating from our central mission of crippling al-Qaida and preventing Afghanistan from becoming a terrorist safe haven where radicals can launch attacks against America and our allies.
After a decade of valiant sacrifice by our troops and their families, it is absolutely appropriate to expect the Afghans to accept greater responsibility for their security. Congress will continue to support our troops with all the resources required to build on their hard-won success in Afghanistan and monitor how this drawdown will affect the brave men and women still in the field."