From The Duffel Blog.
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — Service members currently deployed to Afghanistan were devastated when they learned that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her entourage of congressmen had cancelled their planned visit this past weekend, sources confirmed today.
President Donald Trump halted the congressional delegation’s trip seemingly in response to Pelosi suggesting the president cancel or delay his State of the Union address, citing security concerns. The bus filled with congressman was stopped at the way to Joint Base Andrews where military aircraft were prepared to carry the representatives to Afghanistan.
“It’s terrible,” Staff Sgt. Paul Morin said. “They were going to cancel the vehicle inspection so we could all go shake her hand for six seconds, but then we had to clean all the vehicles three times.”
“It’s a shame,” Sgt. 1st Class Mark Klages said. “Morale has gotten get pretty low around here with the holidays being over, the awful weather, the ANA’s incompetence and our confusing strategy, but it would have helped a lot to be talked at by an old lady from San Francisco.”
Some service members seemed confused as to who the current House speaker actually is.
“Pelosi? Of course I’m upset she didn’t come,” Sgt. Frank Lauer said. “She’s the hot Puerto-Rican one right?”
“They were going to get an exhaustive, in depth tour of Afghanistan too,” Capt. Christopher Yu said of the oncoming delegation. “The air field, the chow hall, the hangar where we keep the drones we still have control over, the briefing room, the other chow hall. They were going to get to talk to soldiers and airmen who aren’t allowed to leave the wire and the seven Afghans who still have the clearance to come in here. I don’t know how they’re going to be able to make any decisions about a country we have been in for seventeen years without that experience.”
The outrage over the canceled trip extended to the top of the chain of command.
“I’ll be honest,” the commander of Operation Resolute Support, Army Gen. Austin S. Miller, said. “I am upset. I was looking forward to giving all those congressmen my assessment of the situation and my guidance moving forward but now I suppose I’ll have to do a video conference … or send it in an e-mail.”
Congressional delegation fact-finding missions to wartime theaters have a long tradition of effectiveness. The trajectory of the Vietnam War was changed in 1965 when Sen. George Romney was brainwashed by the Phoenix Program, and in 2006, the Iraq Study Group certified the country as a stable democracy after a layover at Al Asad Air Base.