06.10.16

Expanded U.S. Role in Afghanistan Shows Nation’s Longest War Is Far From Over

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement following news that U.S. troops in Afghanistan would become further engaged; this announcement reverses the trend and plan for a drawdown in the region:

“Today’s announcement from the Pentagon signals that our nation is far from ending its longest war. Further military engagement in Afghanistan puts our brave servicemen and women in harm’s way while doing nothing to enhance our national security.

For nearly 15 years, our brave servicemen and women have gone above and beyond the call of duty, under nearly impossible circumstances. It’s past time to bring them home to their families and end this war.

This war has already cost our nation too much, in blood and in treasure. We have lost 2,381 brave American servicemembers, and more than 20,000 have been wounded.

Every hour, we spend four million dollars fighting this endless war. The $740 billion price tag for this war has undermined our ability to make much-needed investments in our national security and domestic priorities.

In 2001, I opposed the authorization for this war because it allowed any President to wage endless war without the Congressional oversight mandated by the Constitution. While my amendment to the FY2017 NDAA to repeal this blank check for endless war was defeated, I will continue to find every legislative opportunity to re-establish Congress’s constitutionally-mandated oversight of war.

The American people, our servicemembers and their families were promised an end to this costly and bloody war. We must keep our promises and bring this war to a close.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.