Kerry Statement On The President’s Afghanistan Speech

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Washington, DC – Following President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement:

“The President correctly laid out the next phase of our strategy in Afghanistan -- a transition to Afghan control that begins by redeploying the 33,000 surge troops starting next month and ending next summer, and puts the Afghans in complete control by 2014.  In doing so, he kept the commitment he made to the American people 18 months ago at West Point.  As a result of the gains made since the course correction outlined at West Point, we’re now operating from a position of strength. We have halted the Taliban’s momentum, particularly in the south.  Bin Laden’s death was a fundamental blow to Al Qaeda, and its ability to strike has been disrupted significantly.  By increasing the resources and capacity of the Afghan security forces and its civilian sector, we have given Afghans the chance to build and defend their own country. Our ability to capitalize on the surge and bring home 33,000 troops over the next 15 months is a testament to the success of the strategy and the courageous sacrifices of our young men and women in uniform and their civilian counterparts.”

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