WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) issued the following statement on President Barack Obama’s national address on Afghanistan:

“As Commander-in-Chief, President Obama made the difficult decision in late 2009 to move forward with a military surge in Afghanistan. The decision was based on the recommendations of top U.S. military officials in Afghanistan, who at the time expressed serious concerns about the growing strength of the Taliban insurgency and a deterioration of security conditions on the ground.

“I hope the President’s decision to begin drawing-down our troop presence in Afghanistan, with the goal of returning to pre-surge levels by the end of 2012, is similarly based on changing conditions on the ground and the recommendations of American commanders, rather than political advisers.

“As the President orders a significant drawdown, it is clear our mission in Afghanistan is evolving and will enter a new and perhaps more challenging phase. I am eager to be briefed by Department of Defense officials on today’s decision by the President and expect to receive regular updates on the effect the drawdown is having on American and Afghan security.”