In 2001 the United States and its allies entered Afghanistan in pursuit of the perpetrators of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Like all Americans who experienced that terrible day, Senator Patty Murray will never forget the fear and destruction our nation endured. She will always remember the way Americans came together – across regions and political lines – with courage and commitment to support U.S. troops in their efforts to root out Al Qaeda terrorists and eliminate their safe haven in Afghanistan.
Since then, U.S. troops have bravely done their duty to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan and to keep America safe. Servicemembers from Washington State have served and sacrificed honorably in Afghanistan, and they continue to do so. As long as there are U.S. troops overseas, Senator Murray will work to ensure they have the supplies and equipment needed to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. But with brave men and women in harm’s way, and U.S. tax dollars at stake, it is important to know that the U.S. has committed, effective partners in the region. Congress must ask tough questions about the path forward in Afghanistan and insist on a clear plan and accountability.
Unfortunately, the focus on Afghanistan was diverted for too long by the long war in Iraq, a war that Senator Murray voted against. She voted against authorizing the Iraq war in 2002 because she thought there were too many unanswered questions about the Bush Administration’s approach and planning, and because of its implications for the larger war against terrorists. After nine years of pressing for a responsible end to military operations in Iraq, Senator Murray was pleased when the last American troops left Iraq on December 18, 2011.
Senator Murray will keep fighting to support the men and women in uniform and their families. She uses her position on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to help ensure servicemembers in the field and at home receive necessary training and equipment, and that their families get the support and services they deserve. Senator Murray knows that the responsibility to wounded warriors does not end on the battlefield, and will continue fighting to help these brave men and women get the care they need, for as long as they need it.