U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (AP)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tackled some serious questions from lawmakers -- in her first appearance on Capitol Hill, since returning from her latest trip abroad. Members of a House committee wanted to know about the future in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hillary Clinton took the hot seat in front of a House Panel -- ready to face tough questions. She's just returned from a trip through Afghanistan and Pakistan -- and lawmakers want to know what comes next.
Secretary of State Hillary of Clinton said, “We still face a difficult fight, but coalition and Afghan forces have reversed the Taliban's momentum in key areas."
Some members of Congress are upset over recent remarks from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Just days after a face to face meeting with Secretary Clinton, he said, if the U-S and Pakistan ended up at war with one another -- his country would back Pakistan.
That has some lawmakers from both parties thinking it's time to stop committing American lives and dollars to fight there.
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, “Too much American blood and treasure have been invested in Afghanistan for us to walk away - or to have a government that threatens American interests."
Right now, there are about 98-thousand US troops in Afghanistan -- and the current strategy calls for most of them to come home -- by 2015.
US forces in Iraq will pack up and pull out -- by the end of 'this' year. President Obama made the announcement last week -- saying, it's time for American diplomats to take the lead there.
The Secretary also outlined a plan to reach out to Iranians -- through a virtual embassy. The State Department is working on a special website that will have information about how to travel to, or study in, the U-S.
That virtual embassy doesn't mean the U-S will open an actual embassy inside Iran. The two countries broke off formal diplomatic ties in 1980 -- when Iranian revolutionaries took over the US Embassy, and captured more than 60-Americans. They held many of them hostage, for over a year.