by Countable | 8.22.17
Last night, in his first official primetime address since the inauguration, President Trump laid out the broad outlines of a strategy on the war in Afghanistan. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle immediately began pushing back about the necessity for Congress to vote on an updated war authorization, known officially as an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) published a statement via his website and an op-ed in The Hill. In his statement he explained the amendment he proposed recently to the Defense Authorization bill:
"[Sen. Paul’s] amendment expresses the sense of Congress that the President cannot conduct ongoing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan without an AUMF from Congress authorizing such conduct. He strongly believes that if the President and Congress want to continue the war in Afghanistan, then at the very least Congress should vote on it.”
In his op-ed he wrote:
"...as is typical, there was significant mission creep in Afghanistan. We went from striking back against those who attacked us, to regime change, to nation-building, to policing their country for them. And we do it all now with an authorization that is flimsy at best, with the reason blurred, and the costs now known. We do it with an authorization that was debated and passed before some of our newest military personnel were out of diapers. This isn’t fair to them, to the American people, or to a rational foreign policy."
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who sits on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, has also long championed a new Congressional war authorization. He made this statement following the president’s address, which was published by the Augusta Free Press:
"Congress should now have a long-overdue debate and vote on our ongoing military action against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, including in Afghanistan. The majority of us weren’t in Congress in 2001 to vote on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that’s still being used to justify our current military action, and we owe it to our servicemembers and the American people to define the U.S. mission and publicly reaffirm our commitment to this fight. Senator Flake and I have introduced an AUMF to serve as the starting point for this discussion, and I hope the Senate will stop dodging its responsibility and finally pass an updated AUMF."
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— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
Dr. Rand Paul aptly stated that the mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose. As a civilian and pacifist, I've always questioned how an outside military force might win against "terrorism": the enemy isn't a nation, but an ideology. We appear not to understand our role in growing terrorists. What have we done to pay back what was stripped from people through centuries of colonialism? Non-industrial nations have been exploited for resources and cheap labor. That exploitation has kept people in abject poverty while the West has prospered. Where is justice for "the least of these" our sisters and brothers? Little wonder people have resorted to violence to express their anger.
The solution in Afghanistan is simple. We need to leave. And in the future no troops should be sent overseas without a formal declaration of war by Congress.
"Congress must debate and vote on our ongoing military action against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, including in Afghanistan. We just can't leave this important decision to the President of the United States.
If congress approves of a continuation of war, they should send their children first!
Trump cannot be trusted as commander and chief and congress needs to approve everything he propoes
Too little too late Paul. You and the rest of the republicans helped a dictator into the White House, what makes you think you have any control over him now? All he's done since he's gotten there is throw everyone under the bus. The only course of action that will save our country now is impeachment
For as much as I believe that Congress should have a say at imposing a declaration of war, one must understand what that declaration does politically. In the US it offers support of the people to deliberate and accept this change, but in the context of the Taliban or Daesh (those we are fighting in Afghanistan) it creates legitimacy that no other country has given them. I believe an official declaration of war is unwarranted, as we are fighting a non-governmental opponent, who uses terror as a way to control its people. If we must declare something in the form of a continued conflict, it should be a bipartisan approach with limitations and continual feedback from the Executive Office, the Security Council, and the Joint Chiefs. If we declare a war in Afghanistan, it provides a tool to the enemy that they are a recognized opponent with a legitimate goal. I agree with the political process set forward in the Constitution, but we are dealing with a much different enemy then the Founders had to deal with in their time period.
Absolutely, anyone voting for this increase should go on the record. This is how democracy works for the taxpayers who fund the war and ultimately pay the price when their family and friends are put into harms way.
Poll numbers down? Drum up your base by saber rattling! And be sure to throw more billions to your rich friends who own blackwater.
Who wrote his speech? We know he didn't Let's find this person and ask them wtf
So President Obama escalated troops and strategy in Afghanistan and he was wrong BUT Mr Trump does it and he's a thoughtful leader. It's still 16 years and counting. What are we doing?!
Now is not the time to increase troops in Afghanistan. It's time to remove military and cut funding. I believe Congress deserves a voice in determining war and war funding. It's too late for Afghanistan. We are there and never should have been there. Pres Obama failed to bring troops home. Pres Trump needs to bring them home and put America First in funding.
No, crop dust their poppy fields with poison. 1) No more money supply for terrorist. 2) Land for food for the people. 3) Cut back the Opium problem in this country.
My fear in letting congress decide to go to war is that they are incapable of any bipartisan decisions. On the other hand we have a President who talks big without thinking or knowing history. Our only hope is to have the case made by well respected competent Generals who know what is really going on. God help us!
We are not making any changes in Afghanistan. They don't want us there. No nation has been successful with intervention and our service men and women keep getting maimed and killed. Pull out. I am the mother of a veteran.
An American President who supports Nazis, seemingly without the attention span to recall WWll should probably have a check on his power.
The owners of this site are truly Trump haters. Almost all of their topics or questions their asking us are worded to bring more hate Trumps way. So does Trump as the President of the United States need to get Congressional approval before sending more troops to Afghanistan to protect our country, no!!! I wonder if the owners of this site asked the same type of question when Obama was in charge??? Doubtful!!!!
Draft his kids!
45 is just itching to accelerate war. Pick a country.
This is all about becoming the ones who go in and strip a land of its natural resources. It's pathetic and despicable. It's a move backward. It's a move against defending humanity. And a move towards true imperialism. We've always lived in a world where we've done these things sort of under the radar. But now we aren't even going to hide it. We're making it policy to go into these war torn countries to raid their precious commodities. To take the only assets that these 3rd world countries have under the guise of securing peace in the region. It's a farce and we need to stop it. If you really think we can help the people of a country we should. But if we are going in to "help" but just end up reducing their homes to rubble and killing their families in the process, how does that help??