16 Years Later, Afghanistan War Drags On, Congress Still Asleep at the Wheel
Washington, D.C. — October 6, 2017 — On the eve of the 16-year anniversary of the Afghanistan War, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Sixteen years after the inception of America’s longest war, the Afghanistan War remains an open-ended conflict with no end in sight. Kids who were in preschool when the war started are now shipping off to fight in it. Parents who fought in the early years of the war are seeing their children pick up where they left off. After thousands upon thousands of lives lost and billions of taxpayer dollars squandered, are we any better off? Decidedly not.
“With the stated goal of fighting ‘to win,’ the Trump administration has sent thousands more soldiers into the fight without any definition of success, let alone a coherent strategy for ending the war. What can risking the lives of a few thousand more troops accomplish that over 100,000 soldiers and thousands of contractors couldn’t? Achieving a sustainable peace in Afghanistan means withdrawing U.S. forces, working for a political solution, and investing in humanitarian programs to help rebuild and stabilize the country. Instead we’re getting more of the same.
“While the Trump administration is carrying the torch of endless war, it was Congress who lit it to begin with, and Congress who will have to put it out. The 107th Congress cut the executive branch a blank check for war when it passed the 2001 war authorization with vague definitions of targets and no end date, but each Congress since has failed to void it. Congress has been asleep at the wheel, driving under the influence of political expediency and the arms industry, and as a result, the American people have been cut out of the decision making process. It is long, long past time for Congress to wake up and reclaim its war powers by repealing the 2001 authorization and debating what if any role the U.S. military should have in Afghanistan.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.PeaceAction.org.