Springfield — Following President Donald Trump’s speech at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, Rep. Richard Neal released the following statement:“After nearly 16 years of conflict in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump now wants to extend the longest war in our nation’s history. Since 2002, the United States has spent nearly $5 trillion paying for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 2,400 men and women of our Armed Services have lost their lives and thousands more have been wounded in what many regard as an endless cycle of military intervention. And tonight, the President announced his intention to put more American boots on the ground with no clearly defined mission.
“I do not minimize the threat posed by the Taliban, ISIS or Al Qaeda in the region and across the world. The tragic events last week in Barcelona are a stark reminder that we need to remain vigilant in the global war on terror. But at some point the Afghan security forces and police need to take control of their own future. The American people do not want to see our brave soldiers deployed indefinitely without an exit strategy.”