HV Congressman Discusses Trip To Afghanistan
A Hudson Valley congressman recently visited Afghanistan as part of a bipartisan delegation. He returned from his four-day trip the day President Obama outlined his foreign policy goals in his graduation speech at West Point on Wednesday. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney about what he experienced in Afghanistan.
In addition to meeting New York servicemen and women, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was briefed on key political and security issues from top military leaders, senior intelligence officials, and foreign assistance personnel. He and the members of the delegation received briefings on the Afghan National Security Forces, the status of the upcoming June Afghan Presidential runoff election, and the ongoing negotiation of the Bilateral Security Agreement to define the involvement and commitment of the United States following the end of 2014.
Earlier this week, President Obama said he would look to bring the U.S. force in Afghanistan down to 9,800 as the U.S. combat mission ends later this year. He then intends to withdraw most of those forces by the end of 2016. During Mr. Obama’s speech at West Point, he called for a shift in foreign policy, in a direction that mobilizes allies and partners collectively and includes diplomacy and sanctions. Maloney, a Democrat, agrees with this approach.
Maloney’s four-day trip to Afghanistan took place over Memorial Day weekend.