Congressman Don Bacon spent part of the holiday season with American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have been engaged with these countries for many years and some are questioning our long-term interests. Bacon believes U.S. troops will be there for quite some time but this is a smart plan.
Bacon says, “The Iraqis and Afghans are doing most of the fighting now and we are still doing the training that are putting them in the lead. They are the guys carrying the guns on the ground, 98%. We are providing air cover, intelligence support and giving them advice. That is going to lower our costs. Our main goal is to make sure that Isis or Al-Qaeda doesn’t get a foothold in Iraq or the Taliban in Afghanistan where they will conduct terrorist operations against Europe or the United States down the road. I think we found the most cost effective way is to be there in the background, in a smaller number. I tell you the Iraqi and Afghan Special Forces are getting really good.”
Bacon says Iraq’s sense of nationalism is the highest it has been since 2003. He says they are doing the majority of their own fighting now and are confident in themselves. He says Afghanistan now knows the U.S. isn’t going to abandon them so they are being more aggressive with the Taliban so their confidence continues to build as well.
Bacon says the U.S. still has to take a stronger stand with Pakistan where it is believed Government officials continue to allow safe havens for members of the Taliban and ISIS.
Bacon says our deployed troops continue to work very hard and his goal was to meet with these brave Americans to say thank you.