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Congressman Price Issues Statement on President Trump's Speech on Afghanistan

August 22, 2017
Press Release

Washington - Congressman David E. Price (NC-04) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s remarks on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

“Last night, President Trump, reversing his previous position, declared that the United States was not going to abandon Afghanistan. But his statement fell far short of the kind of strategic plan and full accounting he owes the American people.

I view Afghanistan through the prism of a ten-year effort to support and strengthen the Afghan parliament through the House Democracy Partnership (HDP). The parliament has at times struggled to resist corruption, take a broad view of the country’s interests, and responsibly challenge the executive. At the same time, I have come to admire many of the parliament’s members and staff, including a number of especially courageous women, and I am convinced that their success is critical to their country’s survival.

“We are not nation-building again,” President Trump said last night. “We are killing terrorists.” These statements are dangerous oversimplifications. Terrorists thrived in Afghanistan when it was a failed state, and they could do so again. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that the country develop effective, legitimate representative institutions. In helping to bring this about, our country is not necessarily “nation-building,” and we certainly are not trying to exactly replicate our own system. But it is extremely shortsighted to denigrate or abandon efforts that are fully as important as military prowess to Afghanistan’s survival and success.”