Oklahoma Veterans Caucus members ask U.S. Congress to act on Afghanistan

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
Oklahoma City  – Members of the Oklahoma Legislative Veterans Caucus have issued a statement asking Congress to intervene in the exit plan of U.S. service members in Afghanistan.

“We know our Oklahoma federal delegation supports our U.S. service members,” members of the caucus said in a joint statement, “but the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated in a way that has resulted in the loss of lives of those who serve our nation and has put the lives of many others in great peril. The president’s exit plan has been disastrous to date, resulting in the death of American warriors. 

“Congress has the power to intervene when the Commander in Chief is unable to complete his duties in a way that protects American lives and the lives of our allies. We are asking Congress to take swift action in this situation.”

The statement came from the office of state Rep. Josh West, a Grove Republican, after reports that 13 U.S. service members and at least 60 Afghans were killed at the Kabul airport by Islamic State gunmen Thursday. At least 18 service members were wounded.

According to the legislative press release, sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations, “the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs reports a total number of 140 Oklahoma service members have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, including various branches of the military and the Oklahoma National Guard, which is under the purview of state government.”

The statement was signed by Republican state Representatives Josh West of Grove, Chris Kannady of Oklahoma City, Ty Burns of  Pawnee, Dustin Roberts of Durant, Logan Phillips of Mounds, Jay Steagall of Yukon, John Pfeiffer of Orlando, David Smith of Arpelar, Kevin McDugle of Broken Arrow, and Sen. Frank Simpson of Springer.