Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) released the following statement about her vote against the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010, which continues funding for the war in Afghanistan.
I have grave concerns about the legislation before the House to provide $37.1 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our total war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan including the funding provided by this bill will exceed $1 trillion. Yet this spending comes without a viable exit strategy for the conflict in Afghanistan which is the longest war in our nation's history.
The recent publication of tens of thousands of leaked field reports on Afghanistan confirm what we already know: Our continued troop presence is alienating the local population, corruption is rampant in the Afghan government, the Taliban population is stronger than ever, and our Pakistani partners are unreliable at best.
Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires for a reason. No one since Ghengis Khan--not Alexander the Great, not the Persians, not the Ottomans, not the British, nor the Soviets--has been able to succeed in this troubled country. Some have said the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. We should learn from those who came before us.
Without an exit strategy, approving billions more of hard-earned taxpayer dollars for the war in Afghanistan is difficult enough to justify. But this cost pales in comparison to the loss of American lives. June was the deadliest month in the war thus far, when 102 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice.
It is also hard to justify supporting this legislation with billions more for war when the Senate stripped out $10 billion for an Education Jobs fund that the House provided to help our school districts retain and develop their teaching workforce. I cannot cast a vote for war funding when we can't find the resources to invest in our schools and students.
Most importantly, the President said our mission in Afghanistan must be definable and winnable. I believe it is neither, and I will vote against funding for it.