Myers visits Bagram Air Base
By Staff Sgt. Richard Thompson, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
BAGRAM Air Base, Afghanistan, Jul. 31, 2003 Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Bagram Air Base July 30 as part of his tour of Middle Eastern and Asian coalition military operations.
Myers met with Combined Joint Task Force 180 leadership to discuss a range of issues and held a press conference.
"Through the efforts of Combined Joint Task Force 180, the stability of Afghanistan grows daily," Myers said at the press conference. "And this stability allows the people of Afghanistan to raise their families in security and to prosper more than they have in the past."
The senior U.S. military officer said goals, such as free elections and a fully functioning Afghan government able to provide security to its citizens, needed to be met before determining the length of the future U.S. force presence in Afghanistan. "U.S. and coalition partners are prepared to be here as long as it takes," he noted.
Myers said although he thought the security situation in Afghanistan is currently better than the situation in Iraq, "there are still a lot of challenges out there and there is a lot of danger. The troops participating in the operation today are very courageous folks."
He also addressed the issue of mission resources. "I don't think the war in Iraq has taken any of the resources away from the fight against international terrorism - specifically al Qaeda," Myers said. "In fact I think the effort in Iraq has been very complementary. This is all about the war on terrorism."
Myers' six-day trip included visits with troops and officials in Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar and India.
(Staff Sgt. Richard Thompson is assigned to the 4th Public Affairs Detachment in Afghanistan.)