WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) and Ranking Member Rob Wittman (R-Va.) convened a hearing to examine how various options proposed for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan may affect and be affected by U.S. strategy in Iraq. The hearing was the second in a series to explore options for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq.


“We made a commitment not to abandon or forget those who supported our efforts against al Qaeda and Taliban forces starting in 2001,” said Chairman Snyder. “Despite all our technical advantages, it is impossible to wage an invisible or surgical war. While drones and long distance targeting might work against al Qaeda, we will have to be closer to the Afghan people in order to protect them. Most importantly, we have to listen to the people in order to know how to help.”


“The testimony today from our witnesses verifies my concern that we need a decision on the way-forward in Afghanistan,” said Ranking Member Wittman. “Our brave young men and women are on the front lines in Afghanistan fighting every single day while policy is debated here in Washington. The longer we wait, the more uncertainty we create among our allies and in the entire region. As I’ve said before, it is time to move forward with a plan and strategy for Afghanistan.”


The hearing provided a broad range of views on the key strategic options for Afghanistan, how such options in Afghanistan are linked by resources and regional strategy to our efforts in Iraq, and how Afghanistan fits into broader concerns in Pakistan and the South Asia region. The hearing also addressed U.S. and NATO efforts to train Afghan security forces, as well as how the results of the recent elections in Afghanistan may impact U.S. options.


Witnesses at today’s hearing included retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Eaton, Dr. Christine Fair from Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies, Professor Muqtedar Khan from the University of Delaware’s Islamic Studies Program, and Dr. Marin Strmecki from the Smith Richardson Foundation.


The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold the third in its series of hearings on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq on Tuesday, November 17, at 2pm in Room 210 of the House Visitor Center.