U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, was in Afghanistan last week to observe operations and meet with troops, including service members deployed from Oklahoma, according to a news release from his office.
“It was a privilege to meet with our soldiers and military leaders serving in Afghanistan,” Cole said. “I was honored by the opportunity to express gratitude on behalf of our state to Oklahoma’s own service members and civilians serving in harm’s way.”
“There is a great sense of optimism among our forces in Afghanistan. With the commitment of additional troops and the arrival of General David Petraeus, our military personnel believe they have the resources they need to complete the mission.”
Cole’s district includes Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill. He served on the House Armed Services Committee before taking a seat on the House Appropriations Committee.
He went on the trip with three other Congressmen, two Republicans and one Democrat.
“Everyone I spoke with demonstrated a unity of purpose and level of cohesion greater than I’ve ever seen before,” Cole said. “Our troops expressed great confidence in the support of the Afghan people and government.
“There is no doubt that we can complete the mission in Afghanistan if our military leaders are given sufficient time to implement the surge strategy. President Barack Obama’s announcement that forces will begin leaving in July 2011 creates real concern among our service members that their mission will be cut short before victory is assured.
“Success in Afghanistan is critical to our national security. I urge President Obama and members of Congress to provide full support to our mission and give our military leaders the time they need to achieve victory.”