Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) joined Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in asking Speaker John Boehner to consider holding two weeks of hearings this fall on the war in Afghanistan.
In a letter to Boehner, Wolf and Hunter pointed to the fact that the nation has been at war in Afghanistan for 11 years and believe the American people no longer have a clear sense of what we are trying to accomplish, why it remains necessary and how far we are from attaining our goal.
Wolf is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. Hunter is on the House Armed Services Committee and served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine.
“Congress has a duty to ensure that everything possible is done to achieve the nation’s goals in Afghanistan and to honor the sacrifice of those who wear the uniform,” the congressmen wrote. “Do you think we can look the parents, spouses and children of the dead and wounded in the eye and tell them that we are currently doing so?”
In addition to the war in Afghanistan, Wolf and Hunter said the hearings should also address military, political and diplomatic issues in Pakistan.
The Armed Services, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees all should be involved in this process, they said.
Witnesses should include former secretaries of State such as Jim Baker and Madeline Albright, former ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan, including Ronald Neumann, Ryan Crocker and Karl Eikenberry, former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former members of Congress and experts on the region from outside of government, Wolf and Hunter said.
Wolf is the author of the language creating the Iraq Study Group – also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission. Since 2009 he has been calling for the creation of a bipartisan, independent Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group. He was successful in inserting language into the fiscal year 2012 Defense Appropriations bill to allow the Secretary of Defense to spend $1 million to create a panel but the Obama Administration, however, has failed to set one up.