WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) issued this statement following President Trump’s update on Afghanistan:

“As a veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I do not take lightly the decision to commit America’s young men and women to conflict. Unfortunately, the reality is this: arbitrary timelines, troop levels, and an overall lack of strategy from the previous Administration has created an environment in Afghanistan where 20 of the world’s international terror networks reside, the Taliban is resurging, and the region is vulnerable to the malign influence of Iran and Russia. As Secretary James Mattis recently described, ‘we are not winning in Afghanistan.’

“Maintaining the status quo is unacceptable to our national security and unacceptable to our troops and their families.

“Tonight the President outlined his vision for a new strategy in Afghanistan - one which prioritizes the need for increased cooperation with regional partners such as Pakistan and India. 

“Now is not the time to abandon our fight against terrorism in Afghanistan, its people or our international partners.  Instead, we must once again lead from a position of strength. Therefore, moving forward, I am committed to both guaranteeing our servicemembers are well-equipped for combat, while also holding the Department of Defense and the Administration accountable for ensuring the effectiveness of this strategy.”