2/24/2011 — 

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a West Point graduate and a member of the Armed Services Committee today issued the following statement:

"These are serious charges that must and will be fully investigated, as General Petraeus has announced.  

"From my standpoint, I've been to Afghanistan 11 times since the war began.  When I am over there, I try to cast a wide net and gather information from many sources.  I don't just talk to generals in Kabul, I go out on the ground and talk to our troops and junior officers in the field to get their impressions, not only American forces but also Afghan and multinational forces.  I also seek out international, humanitarian, and foreign affairs experts so that I have a broad basis of information.

"Having grown up as a young Army officer in the Vietnam era, I have an instinctual notion that you must carefully evaluate what anyone says, because there are always people with institutional stakes or people who may try to advance their own position.  

"I opposed the war in Iraq because it meant taking our eye off the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and our Afghanistan operations.  I have long supported President Obama's comprehensive strategy to defeat al Qaeda and accelerate the training of Afghan security forces so that they can eventually lead the fight, and our troops can begin to come home this summer.   That's the right policy for our interests and the Afghan people.  

"Ultimately, we need to increase the capacity of the Afghan government to build a stable Afghanistan where the Afghan people, not the Taliban or terrorists, control their future."