We launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7, 2001 to avenge the attacks on our World Trade Center and Pentagon a month earlier. While in Afghanistan rooting out Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, we got sidetracked and spent the next 8 years capturing Saddam Hussein and rebuilding war-torn Iraq. By the end of 2011, we had left Iraq and dispatched Bin Laden and much of Al-Qaeda, but we are still conducting military operations in this inhospitable country. More than 6,800 American troops, and nearly the same number of contractors, have been killed fighting these wars. More than 52,000 troops have also been wounded, and more than 875,000 war veterans have joined the disability rolls so far. These statistics do not include the many suicides committed by military personnel, the estimated 225,000 civilian casualties, or the $4 trillion these wars have cost our Treasury.
Before concluding military operations in Afghanistan, the Obama administration signed a bilateral security agreement with the new Afghan government which allows 9,800 American troops to be stationed in Afghanistan for the next 10 years. The stated purpose of leaving these troops behind is to train and support Afghan security forces. However, the pact also calls for our Special Operations forces to conduct counterterrorism missions there. Those who agree with leaving a contingent of troops in this country say we should fully train, equip and support Afghan security forces to ensure they can protect their government. They claim if this had been done in Iraq, ISIS would not have been able to nearly overrun that country. Critics say there is no purpose in leaving troops behind â€“except to turn a prolonged war into an indefinite one. They say training native security forces will not ensure Afghan security. They point to the failure of 900,000 well-equipped Iraqi soldiers, most of whom we trained over the course of many years, to halt the advance of less than 50,000 lightly-armed ISIS fighters.
H.R.125 – Congressional Oversight of Afghanistan Agreements Act of 2013
H.R.200 – Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act
I oppose reforming current Afghanistan War policy and wish to defeat H.R.125 and H.R.200
I support expressing the sense of Congress that any bilateral agreement between the United States and Afghanistan involving commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole, including a Bilateral Security Agreement, that is not a treaty approved by two-thirds of the Senate under Article II of the Constitution or authorized by legislation does not have the force of law, and wish to pass H.R.125
I support ensuring that funds for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan are to be used only for providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel and Department of Defense contractor personnel in Afghanistan, and wish to pass H.R