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Public Statements

Afghanistan War Powers Resolution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I am going to be voting in favor of this resolution.

The United States military is the greatest fighting force on the face of the planet. I could not be more proud of our troops who have served our country with such valor and such vigor.

This is the longest war in the history of the United States of America. And let there be no mistake, the global war on terror is real. It is very real.

I reject the notion that polls should matter in any way, shape, or form in this debate. That is not how the United States operates. This is not how we decide whether or not we go to war or we bring our troops home.

I reject the notion that bringing our troops home at some point, which I consider to be victory, is somehow a pathway or paving a pathway to another 9/11. I think that is offensive, and I think it is inaccurate.

Now, in many ways we have had success over the course of the years. Let's understand that according to the National Intelligence Estimate, which has been printed in many newspapers, that the Taliban poses no clear and present danger to the current Afghan Government, nor do they pose a danger to the United States of America. Further, we have had our CIA Director state that there are less than 50 al-Qaeda in the entire boundaries of Afghanistan.

I believe it should be the policy of the United States of America that if we send our troops to war, we go with everything we have. We do not hold back. A politically correct war is a lost war, and at the present time we are playing politics. We aren't going with everything we have. If we are serious about doing it, Mr. President, you go with everything. And until this President attends more funerals than he does rounds of golf, this person will be highly offended.

We have to define the mission. The President of the United States has failed to define success in Afghanistan. We are participating in the business of nation building, and I reject that. We are propping up a government that is fundamentally corrupt, and we all know it. It will not get us to where we want to go.

We must redefine the rules of engagement. Even when I was in Afghanistan visiting with General Petraeus, he admitted that we are using smaller caliber rounds. Again, we are trying to be more politically correct instead of actually protecting American lives.

Let me also say again that terrorism is a global threat. We must use our forces around the world when there is a direct threat on the United States of America. That is not confined to just the boundaries of Afghanistan. It is happening globally, and it is real. We have to deal with the threats in Iran and not take our eye off the ball.

Finally, I would say that our national debt is a clear and present danger to the United States of America, and we must pay attention to that.


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