House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan, this past weekend with seven other House Republican lawmakers to get a first-hand look at the political situation in the country after the recent democratic elections, Boehner's office announced Monday.
The trip was not announced until now to maintain security, according to a spokesman.
The message from lawmakers was “that the House of Representatives wants to maintain a right-sized presence in Afghanistan” following the years-long war and American involvement in the country to steer it toward democracy.
Lawmakers met with U.S. military troops, Ambassador James B. Cunningham and General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan.
The other GOP lawmakers who accompanied Boehner were Reps. John Kline of Minnesota, Doc Hastings of Washington, Dave Camp of Michigan, Tom Latham of Iowa, Devin Nunes of California, Greg Walden of Oregon and Steve Womack of Arkansas.
Here is Boehner’s statement about the trip:
“Since shortly after 9/11, our troops have fought to bring peace and security to Afghanistan and to ensure it can never again be used as a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States. Many Americans have sacrificed to secure these goals, and far too many have made the ultimate sacrifice or suffered life-changing wounds in the past twelve years of fighting. Now, the Afghans are poised to elect a new government for the first time in their history. We must honor the sacrifices of the Americans and Afghans who have given so much to reach this point and continue our work together. I appreciated hearing from Ambassador Cunningham and General Dunford about the status of those efforts. More than that, it was an honor to meet with so many members of the American Armed Forces and civilians who work to protect our nation every day. I thank them all for their service and hope that political leaders in Washington and Kabul will always prove worthy of their trust.”