Bennet Visits Colorado Troops in Afghanistan, Makes Case to Pakistanis for More Dedicated Effort to Eradicate Extremists from Afghan Border Territories on Visit to Region

Denver, CO – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined a congressional delegation trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan between August 23 and August 30 to press government officials in the region to implement a strategy to restrict the flow of ingredients used to make roadside bombs, the biggest killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Bennet also met with military leaders and Colorado servicemembers in Afghanistan to thank them for their service and discuss the situation on the ground in the fight to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a haven for terrorism.

“The Coloradans serving in Afghanistan have done our state and our country proud,” Bennet said. “Something must be done to stop the flow of materials used in roadside bombs from Pakistan to Afghanistan that continues to threaten the safety of our troops. I hope to continue working with the Pakistani government to end this ongoing threat.”

In Afghanistan, Bennet met with and thanked servicemembers from Colorado at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, a forward operating base in Kandahar province and the Regional Command East headquarters.

In Pakistan, Bennet met with the president, prime minister, Army chief of staff, legislators and other officials to press them to implement a plan to establish tight restrictions on ingredients found in bombs which kill and injure our troops in Afghanistan.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the No. 1 killer of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and are also used to target civilians and security forces in Pakistan. In 2010, 268 U.S. servicemembers were killed by IEDs in Afghanistan, and 125 more have been killed by IEDs since the beginning of 2011.

In May, Bennet and a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the State Department to push Pakistan to stop the flow of ammonium nitrate, the main explosive ingredient used in IEDs, across the Pakistani border.

Bennet was joined on this trip by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Richard Blumenthal (CT).

Click here for a link to photos of Bennet’s visit to the region.