After a nine day tour of duty in Afghanistan as a colonel in the Air Force Reserves, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham returned to Washington Wednesday.
Graham says after nine years of U.S. military involvement in the country, more time is needed to properly train a skillful, able Afghan Army. Graham says, on paper, a non-commissioned officer must be able to read at least at a third-grade level. However, a recent assessment by NATO Training Commander General William Caldwell of the Afghan Army revealed that only 25 percent read at a third grade level.
Graham says he often asked by his constituents, “when are our soldiers coming home?” Graham says our soldiers want to come home just as badly as their families want them to, but they don’t want to leave the job unfinished because they don’t want to have to come back. Graham says progress is being made towards preparing the Afghan people to fend for themselves.
Graham says police are also being trained in order to stabilize villages and keep the peace.
He says Afghanistan still faces strong resistance from the Taliban and the country is not yet prepared for a massive drawdown of U.S. forces. He believes a timetable is on the horizon.
Graham says the U.S. has paid a steep price for its involvement in Afghanistan, and Americans cannot afford to let the country “slip back into darkness.”