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Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I voted to go to war in Afghanistan, but I did not vote for a forever, permanent war that has now lasted almost three times as long as World War II. We should have ended our involvement in Afghanistan many years ago, and many young American lives would have been saved.
The first war against Iraq and Kuwait lasted just 7 months. With the recent killings of four more Americans and with massive anti-American demonstrations being conducted by hundreds of thousands of Afghani citizens, we need to greatly speed up our withdrawal. We need to leave Afghanistan the sooner the better.
We've spent hundreds of billions there over the last decade, a great amount of which has really been just pure foreign aid. We've built schools and medical facilities and helped their farmers. We have trained their police and military and have had thousands of Afghanis on our payroll.
We've had to borrow approximately 41 percent of all of these mega-billions we have spent to help the Afghan people. No country has done nearly as much, Mr. Speaker, for another country in the entire history of the world as we have done for Afghanistan.
Now, the people there have made it very clear that they do not appreciate what we have done for them. In fact, not only are they ungrateful, but they are showing, through their actions, that they have anger or even hatred toward us. We should stop spending all these billions of taxpayer dollars just as soon as we possibly can.
I did not criticize President Obama when he apologized for the burning of the Korans. However, I did not think it was something that rose to the level that required a Presidential apology. Some person or persons made a mistake in burning the Korans. They should have apologized, or the commander of the Air Force base, or perhaps our Ambassador.
However now, where is the apology from the Afghan leadership about the Americans who have been killed or for all of the hatred and anger directed toward our country? Where is the gratitude for all that America and Americans have done for the Afghan people over the last 10 or 11 years?
We have a national debt of over $15 trillion that is headed far higher at a more rapid rate than ever before. It is far past the time that we should have been taking care of our own country and putting our own citizens first.
We need to let the Afghan people run Afghanistan, and we need to stop trying to be everything to everybody all over the world. We simply cannot afford it, and we are jeopardizing the future of ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren if we continue trying to run the whole world.