Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa O. Monaco’s Visit to Afghanistan
Today, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco concluded her January 24-26 visit to Afghanistan. She traveled to Afghanistan to review the status of the terrorist threat to U.S., Afghan, and regional interests and to discuss ways to optimize counterterrorism efforts over the next two years as the United States focuses on two narrow post-2014 missions: an ongoing effort to target the remnants of al-Qa'ida and - along with our allies and partners - training, advising, and assisting our Afghan partners as part of operation Resolute Support. During a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ms. Monaco conveyed President Obama’s appreciation for his leadership, expressed support for an Afghan-led reconciliation process, and underscored the value the United States places on an enduring relationship with Afghanistan. The two reviewed the security situation in Afghanistan and discussed ways the United States can help strengthen the Afghan National Security Forces in the years ahead.
Ms. Monaco also met with U.S. military and civilian leaders and U.S. troops at bases throughout the country. During these meetings, Ms. Monaco sought their views on the security environment and welcomed their ideas on how to preserve the security gains we have made in Afghanistan while maintaining pressure on the remnants of al-Qa’ida and disrupting terrorist threats. Finally, Ms. Monaco used the visit to salute the courage and sacrifice of U.S. service members and civilian personnel who have worked relentlessly over the last 13 years to keep America safe and secure.