“Like all Americans who experienced that terrible day, I will never forget the horrendous attacks of September 11th and the fear and destruction our nation experienced.  And I will always remember the way we came together – across regions and political lines – with purpose, commitment and courage to support our President and our troops in their efforts to root out terrorism in Afghanistan.

“But as President Obama made clear this evening, there is more work to be done.   A growing insurgency presents a danger to Americans and our interests around the globe.  And the Afghan people are still not prepared to secure their own nation and government.

“The President laid out a clear goal tonight.   His timeline to bring this war to an end is now known.   He has engaged our allies and vowed to bring American troops home while holding Afghanistan’s government accountable for their own future.

“I still have many questions about the cost of this effort.  I am concerned about the toll of this war in lives and in dollars.  Brave troops from Washington state and around the country have long been serving and sacrificing in Afghanistan.  As we step up our efforts there, we must provide the equipment and resources our troops need to do their jobs safely and effectively.  And, just as importantly, we must be ready with the care and benefits our veterans need when they return home.

“Our long focus on Iraq has come at the price of our goals in Afghanistan.  While I still have many questions about the specifics, the President made a compelling and responsible case for redoubling the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan in order to protect the American people and bring our troops home.”