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house Bill H.R. 1666

Should Funding for U.S. Activities in Afghanistan End in One Year?

Argument in favor

The U.S. needs to end the war in Afghanistan, too many lives have been lost or damaged and too much money has been spent on what appears to be an unwinnable conflict. Gains made in Afghanistan have been lost in recent years and are too far gone.

Ryan's Opinion
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08/21/2017
Betsy DeVos' brother does not need to run an unregulated private campaign of imperialism. Stop the war profiteering.
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Raymond 's Opinion
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08/21/2017
It only took a decade of fighting there to help bankrupt the USSR. Why are we still there after a decade and a half?
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08/21/2017
Yes! End this! Pouring more money into this bottomless pit is not helping anyone! Our being there is not helping anyone! Just end it already! "Just come home!"
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Argument opposed

There has to be a debate about the U.S. war strategy for Afghanistan, but an arbitrary deadline that cuts off funding in one year is unwise. It would signal to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS that they just need to wait until America leaves to topple the Afghan government.

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08/21/2017
President Trump should chose a strategy with a clear, limited goal: shore up the Afghanistan government, help it gain greater legitimacy and strengthen its security forces. The point is not some kind of flashy victory but avoiding a terrible defeat. Achieving stability in Afghanistan is worth a modest commitment of U.S. troops, Special Operations forces and air power. A major surge of the size that President Barack Obama approved early in his first term is not being discussed. The point is to show the Taliban that it can’t topple the central government, and coax the Taliban, if possible, toward negotiations. Maybe the Taliban will never agree, but a continued U.S. effort is preferable to Afghanistan falling apart.
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Justin 's Opinion
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08/21/2017
If we leave Afghanistan in chaos, it will become a training ground for Al Queda and ISIS again
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KansasTamale's Opinion
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08/21/2017
I was against this war & the Iraq war, both, but the Afghans & Iraquíes are just now beginning to get their legs under them, as far as their wars go. Trump was very adamant, when he WASN'T PRESIDENT, THAT SETTING ARBITRARY COMPLETION TIMES WAS A MISTAKE , WHEN PRES OBAMA BEGAN REDUCING OUR PRESENCE SET BY PRES W BUSH. NOW TRUMP JUST WANTS TO QUIT. How ridiculous. There has to be a debate about the U.S. war strategy. An arbitrary deadline that cuts off funding in one year is ridiculous. It would let terror groups know that all they have to do is wait until America leaves, and then jump in to topple the Afghan government.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on Rules
    IntroducedMarch 22nd, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 1666?

This bill would prohibit funds from being made available for activities in Afghanistan one year after the date of this legislation’s enactment except for the operations of the U.S. Embassy and intelligence gathering. The president would be able to waive this prohibition by certifying that making such funds is in the national interest and Congress enacts legislation making funding available.

Impact

The U.S. military and federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1666

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced this bill to prohibit funding for U.S. activities in Afghanistan after one year because he wants Congress to have a debate on continuing the longest war in American history:

“From a political standpoint, and it really is sad for me to say it this way, but maybe members of the House would rather the president have blood on his hands instead of we in the House have blood on our hands. That’s just my feeling. I can’t prove it. But I know one thing: We’re not debating any foreign policy involving our men and women in uniform. And it’s both parties crying for a debate.”

Lead cosponsor Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) added that the U.S. needs to debate the war strategy for Afghanistan:

“Don’t you suppose we really ought to debate this? That we really ought to get into details about how we win this war? We certainly know how we got into it. How do we get out of it?”

This legislation has the support of 13 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including eight Democrats and five Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army - Cpt. Peter Smedberg / Public Domain)

Official Title

To prohibit the availability of funds for activities in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and for other purposes.

    Betsy DeVos' brother does not need to run an unregulated private campaign of imperialism. Stop the war profiteering.
    Like (91)
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    President Trump should chose a strategy with a clear, limited goal: shore up the Afghanistan government, help it gain greater legitimacy and strengthen its security forces. The point is not some kind of flashy victory but avoiding a terrible defeat. Achieving stability in Afghanistan is worth a modest commitment of U.S. troops, Special Operations forces and air power. A major surge of the size that President Barack Obama approved early in his first term is not being discussed. The point is to show the Taliban that it can’t topple the central government, and coax the Taliban, if possible, toward negotiations. Maybe the Taliban will never agree, but a continued U.S. effort is preferable to Afghanistan falling apart.
    Like (43)
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    It only took a decade of fighting there to help bankrupt the USSR. Why are we still there after a decade and a half?
    Like (44)
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    If we leave Afghanistan in chaos, it will become a training ground for Al Queda and ISIS again
    Like (40)
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    Should have never started.
    Like (37)
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    Yes! End this! Pouring more money into this bottomless pit is not helping anyone! Our being there is not helping anyone! Just end it already! "Just come home!"
    Like (27)
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    We have no national interest being there and we cannot continue to spend money on an unlawful, unconstitutional, undeclared war.
    Like (20)
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    I was against this war & the Iraq war, both, but the Afghans & Iraquíes are just now beginning to get their legs under them, as far as their wars go. Trump was very adamant, when he WASN'T PRESIDENT, THAT SETTING ARBITRARY COMPLETION TIMES WAS A MISTAKE , WHEN PRES OBAMA BEGAN REDUCING OUR PRESENCE SET BY PRES W BUSH. NOW TRUMP JUST WANTS TO QUIT. How ridiculous. There has to be a debate about the U.S. war strategy. An arbitrary deadline that cuts off funding in one year is ridiculous. It would let terror groups know that all they have to do is wait until America leaves, and then jump in to topple the Afghan government.
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    Every dollar that is prioritized for foreign wars over the needs of our communities at home absolutely needs to be fiercely debated by congress. Congress should have stopped giving the president a blank check for war a long time ago, as well as a blanket authorization for wars. Congress needs to step up and do it's job when it comes to authorizing what wars we as a country get into, and how much we choose to invest in those wars at the expense of our needs at home. Cut off the blank check and make every dollar have to be justified and debated.
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    We must stop the securitization of Afghanistan that started in the 1970's. Continuing to intervene in Afghanistan in the name of vanquishing an "enemy" is what fueled the animosity behind the 9/11 attacks. If we do not stop our "white savior" mindset behind this funding, we risk more catastrophes in the future.
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    Good job GOP. Propose creating a bigger problem for you and Trümp to fix once his popularity is at 4% approval. You guys are terrible at governing. Send up some real legislation instead of all these sidesteps.
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    Stop the interventionism.
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    It should end now.
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    We need to get and stay out of Afghanistan ASAP, along with every other country that we're currently occupying. There are no countries that are currently a direct threat to us, so there is no reason we should be in any other countries. This may sound harsh, but if we leave Afghanistan in shambles with a weak government, that's not our problem. It isn't our job to "rebuild" their country and government. That's their issue. If terrorist organizations arise due to the weak government, that's sad, but again, not our problem. We couldn't rebuild Iraq, and it was a huge waste of money, time, and innocent lives. Why would Afghanistan be any different? Nation building is not our strong point, nor should it be. The American government has one job—to protect and support AMERICANS. Not Afghans, not Iraqis, just Americans. If Afghans need government support, they should rely on theirs, not ours. And if their government isn't strong enough to support them, then tough.
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    It's not that simple. I agree that we have to leave a stable government in place and we have to ensure stability for the citizens of Afghanistan. Many have totally lost life as they knew it.
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    I'll be honest, this one is difficult. As much as I would love to see the war in Afghanistan end, we need to withdraw correctly. Let's use Iraq as an example. First, look back to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That, and the dismantling of the entire security force, created an angry, mainly Sunni demographic, which fueled the insurgency that would later become ISIS. On top of that, most Iraqis saw the U.S. soldiers as occupiers who were responsible for civilian deaths. With the influx of American soldiers, the U.S. military organized Sunni tribes to fight against insurgents. The Americans paid them, helped arm them and gave them air cover. One of those tribal leaders, Sheikh Hamid Taees, said: "In May of 2006, I worked closely with the American side to rid Anbar of terrorism and al Qaeda, and actually we killed a large number of al Qaeda fighters." But by the time of that comment, early in 2014, al Qaeda was beginning to get a grip on Sunni areas again, including that province of Anbar. Many Sunni sheikhs say once the American soldiers left, the minority Sunni population of Iraq suffered under a government dominated by the Shiite majority. That government stopped paying most of them, and even arrested many. In doing so, some Sunnis were drawn back to the insurgency. ISIS found supporters and gained ground. And, yes, much of that could have been prevented by a big U.S. troop presence. The other thing that happened after the American military left was that the Iraqi army deteriorated dramatically. "They really did become relatively complacent, and then flat out just didn't train," said Major-General Paul E. Funk II, speaking after abruptly returning to Iraq on a training mission 2014. "Just didn't spend the money to do it, didn't maintain the systems and therein lies the problem." And corruption was running rampant. Supplies were stolen and soldiers were paid, who never reported for duty. Another crucial thing is Syria. With the civil war in 2011, suddenly, just over Iraq's borders were vast ungoverned spaces and lots of weapons. It became a safe haven for ISIS to grow in. And, so, when ISIS came rushing into the city of Mosul, the military collapsed. ISIS had more men and bigger weapons. So, yes, the withdrawal of U.S. troops helped ISIS. If they'd stayed, they could have bolstered Iraq's security forces and tamped down Sunni anger. Afghanistan is no different. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.
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    Maybe holding up the purse strings will cause politicians to grow a brain and figure out the goal besides endlessly fueling the military industrial complex.
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    Activities in Afghanistan should be made by our Generals in coordination with DOD. Trump was on this forsaken land for 7 months unlike Obama who spent his whole term gobsmacked.
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    I agree with the need to debate. There was the meeting this past weekend - so maybe they do have a new strategy. I just don't think money should be cutoff without prior consideration - using more than just 'cost' as a marker for decision making
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    This needs to be debated and discussed rather than just rubber stamping us into eternal war!
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