Washington, D.C.--Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Peace and Security Task Force Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and CPC Co-Chairs Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and CPC released the following statement in response to recent revelations of a potential U.S.-Afghan deal to keep American troops in Afghanistan for at least another decade:
“This revelation is outrageous. The possibility of a military presence into 2024 is unacceptable. There is no military solution in Afghanistan. After 13 years and more than $778 billion invested in an unstable country and the corrupt Karzai government, it's time to bring our troops and tax dollars home. The American people have had enough of the endless, open-ended war. It is time to focus on bringing our brave men and women in uniform home and transition to full Afghan control,” said Congresswoman Lee.
“Many of us, myself included, applauded President Obama for making the right decision to bring our troops home from Iraq after a very expensive decade of war,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Our troops have been in Afghanistan even longer, and the right decision there is even clearer. We can’t keep spending money and risking American lives into the indefinite future, especially not with such a clear need to invest here at home. History will not look kindly on us if we choose to keep funding a war without end through a major domestic economic crisis. We should bring everyone home and start the rebuilding process here in the United States,” said Congressman Grijalva
“Congress should decide any future role for the United States in Afghanistan,” Rep. Ellison said. “The American people expect U.S. forces to be out of the country by the end of 2014 because that’s been our policy. We should not participate in a costly war in Afghanistan indefinitely, especially when budget cuts are kicking kids out of Head Start and slashing food assistance for working families and veterans. The House has already passed an amendment requiring Congressional approval for a policy change on Afghanistan and I urge the Senate to pass a similar amendment introduced by Senator Merkley.”
The CPC has long opposed unlimited involvement in Afghanistan. Our men and women in uniform deserve to come home, and the Afghan people deserve a new approach to our relationship that emphasizes humanitarian aid and capacity-building rather than focusing, as we have done in the past, almost exclusively on military objectives.