House Speaker John Boehner and a delegation made a surprise visit to Afghanistan Monday to observe the historic presidential election there.
Boehner was accompanied by Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore, both Roll Call and Politico reported
. Other members of the delegation included Reps. Tom Latham of Iowa, Devin Nunes of California and Steve Womack of Arkansas — friends and allies of the speaker.
“The group met with American troops stationed in Afghanistan, as well as Ambassador James B. Cunningham and General Joseph F. Dunford,” according to an official statement.
“The delegation sent a strong, unequivocal message that the House of Representatives wants to maintain a right-sized presence in Afghanistan to successfully complete the work that has been done to date, and to honor the sacrifice of thousands of troops and civilians, as well as their families.
“Discussions focused on the impact of the election, the role of American troops going forward, and the continuing economic development of Afghanistan. The visit to Afghanistan is one stop on a trip that focuses on national security, as well as American jobs,” the readout continued.
The delegation had already departed from Afghanistan when the statement was issued, Roll Call reported,
but per security protocol could provide no other information about the trip itinerary.
“Since shortly after 9/11, our troops have fought to bring peace and security to Afghanistan and to ensure it can never again be used as a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States. Many Americans have sacrificed to secure these goals, and far too many have made the ultimate sacrifice or suffered life-changing wounds in the past twelve years of fighting," Boehner said in a separate statement.
"Now, the Afghans are poised to elect a new government for the first time in their history. We must honor the sacrifices of the Americans and Afghans who have given so much to reach this point and continue our work together. I appreciated hearing from Ambassador Cunningham and General Dunford about the status of those efforts. More than that, it was an honor to meet with so many members of the American Armed Forces and civilians who work to protect our nation every day. I thank them all for their service and hope that political leaders in Washington and Kabul will always prove worthy of their trust.”
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