Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03)

Banks Questions Secretary Mattis, General Dunford on Afghanistan

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) today questioned Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford on the progress of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Click here to hear Congressman Banks’ questions.

Text of Banks’ questions follow:

“General Dunford, last summer in your FY 18 Posture Testimony, you stated, ‘In Afghanistan, FY18 investments will reinforce improvements in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).” Today you stated, “we are working toward a sustainable approach to stabilizing the Afghan government and denying terrorist sanctuary.’ General Votel recently testified before us in February and he assessed that, ‘the ANDSF does not have the ability to prevent the insurgency from maintaining a rural presence and occasionally threatening a population center or critical ground lines of communication (GLOC).’ Supporting this, the latest SIGAR report stated in their most recent assessment that the Afghan Government’s control of districts is lowest, while the insurgency’s control is the highest since December 2015.  

“General Dunford, we would expect to see the Afghan Government’s control increase, while the insurgency’s control decrease. When do you see the ANDSF turning the corner against the insurgents and other terrorists?

“Secretary Mattis, many of us support this administration’s new approach, we have since August 21, 2017, but we’ve heard far too little from the Pentagon about the success of that strategy. The American people deserve to know that we’re turning the corner, we’re making progress. What can we do, and what can you do, to better inform the American people that we are making progress in the months to come to show them that we’re doing everything we can to win in Afghanistan?”

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