Afghanistan is the epicenter of where al Qaeda planned and launched the 9/11 attacks against innocent Americans and continues to be an operational location for al Qaeda and its affiliated groups.

The U.S. led effort in Afghanistan and the sacrifices of American troops have led to an improving environment where Afghans are now providing their own security and making progress towards a more secure nation.

Afghanistan is the birth place of al-Qaeda and is unique in its vulnerability to once again becoming a safe-haven for terrorists if a strong government is not supported. Finalizing a Bilateral Security Agreement and retaining a credible residual presence, with input from our commanders on the ground, are essential to sustaining our security gains in Afghanistan. America’s warfighters have made tremendous sacrifices to protect vital U.S. national security interests. These sacrifices demand national leadership to see their mission through and finish the fight.