Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley today said he hopes the president unveils a plan tonight that will get the U.S. out of Afghanistan or at least ensure the country doesn’t disintegrate into the terrorist refuge it was before the 9/11 attacks.

“The number one responsibility of the federal government is the defense of the American people,” Grassley said.

Grassley has been questioning some of the Pentagon’s spending decisions in Afghanistan, like the $28 million worth of new uniforms for Afghan soldiers made in a forest-green camoflage fabric — despite the lack of forests and green landscape in the country. Grassley said the U.S. needs to focus on defending the homeland.

“We’ve seen in Orlando; Chattanooga; Ohio State; Boston; Minneapolis; Garland, Texas; Fort Hood, Texas and San Bernadino where about 150 Americans were killed, you’ve got to understand that terrorism isn’t something that’s just over there,” Grassley said. “It’s here as well.”

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October of 2001, less than a month after the September 11th attacks. Afghanistan is now the longest war in U.S. history. President Trump is scheduled to speak to the country tonight at 8 p.m. Iowa time about the war.

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)