Berman Praises Af-Pak Strategy
With an emphasis on help for civilians, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) just issued a statement applauding President Obama for his newly announced Afghan strategy.
For far too long, we have failed to provide adequate funding for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the civilian national security and stabilization agencies that will be at the forefront of our efforts in Afghanistan. I applaud President Obama for proposing an international affairs budget that begins to reverse this damaging trend, and I will work with him to see that it is fully funded by the Congress. I also look forward to working with the Administration to advance its comprehensive strategy for the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.
President Obama rightly noted that it will take a substantial increase in civilian assistance to ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan. As the President said, this civilian effort should not be short-changed; it is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come in greater security for the United States and the world.
Berman also announced plans to introduce legislation next week to boost funding for development, democracy and education programs in Pakistan.