The tough talk on Afganistan is interesting though. More on that in a bit....
Dear Mr. Baar:
Thank you for contacting me about your concerns on the war in Iraq. I am honored to represent you and appreciate your participation in the governing process. Your involvement makes democracy work better by helping me more effectively represent you and Illinois' 14th District.
I share the concern of many Americans regarding our current involvement in Iraq. To honor the members of our armed forces and their families who have given the ultimate sacrifice, Congress must continue to conduct vigorous oversight and hold the administration and the Iraqi government accountable for our mission in Iraq. We also must provide our returning service members the care and benefits they deserve.
As firm as I am about our obligation to our troops, I am troubled about their continued presence in Iraq. While we continue to referee a 1,400-year-old civil war there, Al Qaeda is regenerating along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. It is long past time to begin to redeploy and rebuild our forces. Our presence in Iraq and the Administration's management of the conflict is diminishing our ability to fight our true enemies, and it is preventing us from addressing needs here at home.
As I continue to evaluate our Iraq policy, I listen carefully to the views of those who served there. In particular, I rely on the advice of a colleague of mine, Congressman Patrick Murphy, who is a former Army Captain in the 82nd Airborne who served in Iraq. He personally experienced the results of the mismanagement of this war and grew weary of the strain it put on his family and fellow soldiers. Since being elected to Congress in 2006, he has led the charge to change our course in Iraq, and he is one of my most trusted advisors on this subject.
Going forward, Congress must work to make sure that the United States is effectively fighting terrorism and to do so we must ensure the strength of our military. As noted by many military experts, our military-especially the U.S. Army-is stretched thin. Without a change in course in Iraq, I am concerned our armed forces will not be fully prepared to respond to future threats. In the upcoming months, Congress will consider additional funding for the war in Iraq. Please know that I will keep your concerns in mind.
Hearing from the families I serve is vital to doing my job right. Thanks again for taking the time to share your concerns and I hope you keep in touch with me on this or any other issue you feel important. To stay informed of my work, or to sign up for my electronic newsletters, please visit my website at http://foster.house.gov. Please contact me if I can help you in the future.
MEMBER OF CONGRESS