“Obviously, my office will continue to do everything we can to support the Vermont National Guard and all American soldiers who serve in Afghanistan. The hopes and prayers of all Vermonters are with them in wishing for a safe tour of duty as we look forward to their return home. My office is also working hard now on securing funds to make sure that the spouses and children of the deployed Vermont National Guard receive the help they need when the major breadwinner in the family is no longer home. We all should be mindful that this will be a difficult time not only for the soldiers but for their spouses and children as well.
“At the same time, I am extremely concerned that we not become bogged down in Afghanistan without a clear set of goals and an effective exit strategy. In my view, the American people do not want more and more loss of life and hundreds of billions spent without a clear understanding of our overall policy, the role the international community will play and what kind of cooperation we will get from the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”