WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), along with CPC Peace and Security Task Force Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), issued the following statement after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani addressed a joint session of Congress.
“Afghanistan needs the strong leadership of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah—not a prolonged U.S. military presence. A political solution is the only way forward in Afghanistan. We fully support U.S. efforts to facilitate inclusive and democratic institutions in Afghanistan that are free from corruption and meet the needs and goals of its people. But after nearly fourteen years, the deaths of 2,201 service members, and a total price tag of five trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we do not support extending the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
“President Obama should reconsider his commitment to allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan through 2016. Before an agreement keeping 9,800 Americans away from their families goes into effect, the Progressive Caucus believes the American people, through their representatives in Congress, should have a say in a continued troop presence in Afghanistan.
“Lasting troop presence in Afghanistan causes resentment of the United States in the region and drains resources that could be better spent meeting critical needs at home. It is time to bring our troops home and forge the political solutions needed for lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
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