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Afghanistan War Powers Resolution

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, we have now been in Afghanistan for 113 months, ten months longer than the war in Vietnam. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest conflict in United States history.

Here at home, Americans are out of work, teachers are facing budget cuts, police departments are overstretched, and yet the President and much of Congress continue to cling to the notion that if given more time and more precious taxpayer dollars borrowed from China we will finally--after a decade of war--gain the edge to ``finish the job'' in Afghanistan.

Mr. Speaker, I don't buy it. There is no comprehensive political outcome in sight. There is no decisive military outcome that will allow us to declare ``victory.'' There is no meaningful government outside of Kabul, the Afghani security forces are in disarray, and there is unbelievable corruption throughout the Karzai government, police, and security forces.

Despite these realities, the U.S. taxpayer is being asked to foot a $100 billion bill per year--again, all borrowed money that future generations will have to pay back with interest--to continue a failed strategy in Afghanistan. I continue to be extremely concerned that the Afghanistan war has drawn the U.S. into a black hole not completely unlike Vietnam, where we propped up a corrupt government that had no relationship to the rest of the country. Recent events in North Africa and throughout the Middle East have shown us the consequences of similar policies.

Mr. Speaker, I strongly support our troops. They have fought heroically and done everything we have asked of them. We should honor those who have served and sacrificed for their country. But we are not honoring those who have served and those who continue to serve by supporting a war without clear objectives, a clear exit strategy, and without any substantial hope for a ``military victory.''

Clearly an orderly withdrawal can not be accomplished in 9 months. But supporting H. Con. Res. 28 provides an opportunity to send a message to the President that the current strategy and cost of the war in Afghanistan are unsustainable. We need a clear exit strategy. We need a less expensive, less troop intensive policy that could bring about a much better result in Afghanistan. We need to prioritize the needs here at home instead of spending treasure and blood on a seemingly open-ended war in Afghanistan. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H. Con. Res. 28.

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