NPT DC: Reyes on Central Asia following visit: “We have taken our eye off the ball”
News release from the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes:
REYES LEADS DELEGATION TO PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) released the following statement after leading a Congressional Delegation to Pakistan and Afghanistan from April 12 – April 18 to assess intelligence and security needs in the region. The fact-finding mission included Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), a member of the Intelligence Committee, and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
“The President has recently announced an increase in the number of troops to Afghanistan. Any substantial increase in forces brings with it a requirement for an increase in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities that will provide adequate force protection measures as well as complete operational situational awareness. Over the last several years, we have taken our eye off the ball on the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and as such, we must work to ensure that our men and women can execute their missions in as safe an environment as possible.
“Recently the situation in this region has shown signs of deterioration or reversal, and the supply mechanisms for our forces could be jeopardized. This trip allowed us to see and hear first hand what is being done to support the troop increase, to ensure we can provide sufficient stability in the region for the people of Afghanistan as they head into elections and continue the path toward a safe and prosperous future.
“The men and women of the Intelligence Community whom we visited in both countries are, as expected, outstanding. We had the opportunity to sit down with them in many different settings from the Embassy to the field, and came away confident that their mission dedication and devotion to duty is as high as ever. This does not mean they do not have substantial challenges, and we need to continue our work in Congress to ensure they have the tools and resources in place to successfully accomplish their mission.
“The stability of this region is critical to global and U.S. security. I will be examining closely in the coming months the support and mission resources we are providing to our committed brave men and women working hard in this region.”