Providence, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding the new strategic partnership agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan that marks an important step toward America’s ultimate withdrawal from that country:
“I have long advocated for bringing our troops home as quickly as possible, and today marked an important milestone in that effort. By signing this new strategic agreement, President Obama has signaled that after over ten years of war, there is a plan in place to bring our brave men and women home. I am pleased that over 20,000 troops will return home by the end of the summer. As we recall the anniversary of last year’s brave mission to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, I applaud the President for taking this new action today, and join with all Rhode Islanders in wishing our remaining troops serving abroad continued health and safety as we move toward our final withdrawal.”
Whitehouse has been a strong voice for a “sizable and sustained” drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, and has traveled to that nation a number of times to meet with servicemembers and military leaders. Following his last trip, he helped lead an effort in the Senate to crack down on the flow improvised explosive devices (IED’s) from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The devices are responsible for approximately 90 percent of U.S. troop casualties in Afghanistan.