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High-Level Delegations Visit Afghanistan

Two high-level congressional delegations visited Afghanistan in December, highlighting the continued U.S. commitment to winning the battle against terrorism.

On December 7, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) traveled to Afghanistan to assess the situation on the ground and identify solutions for 2009 and beyond. "We're going to have additional troops and additional help," said Sen. McCain after visiting the southern province of Helmand.

A delegation including Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY) and New York Governor David Paterson traveled to Afghanistan on December 23, where they visited U.S. troops stationed there and met with President Hamid Karzai.

Rep. Israel, who has emerged as a leader on issues related to Afghanistan in the House of Representatives, highlighted the importance of the visit in a statement. "I'm honored to have visited Afghanistan with Governor Paterson and Congressman Weiner to meet with our New York service members and see the central front in the war against al Qaeda. This is where the attacks against New York originated; this is where Osama bin Laden fought and fled; and this is where our focus should be to defeat the terrorists who would do us harm again," he said.

Rep. Israel last traveled to Afghanistan in October 2008.

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