Anti-Interventionists in Congress Respond to Trump's Afghanistan Strategy

Amid efforts to get Congress to vote on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force



The small band of Republican anti-interventionists in Congress isn't enthusiastic about Donald Trump's new plan for Afghanistan. "There's nothing hasty about ending America's longest war," Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted last night. "@POTUS bowed to military-industrial establishment; doubled down on perpetual war."

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who has warned about the role of the war on drugs in the war in Afghanistan, also expressed disappointment about Trump's decision to continue the conflict. "I had hoped the Afghanistan war would end soon, but now it's inevitable that babies born during the war will be deploying to the war in 2019," Massie tweeted.

Democratic skeptics of military intervention also opposed Trump's latest move in the 16-year-old war. "I opposed President Obama's troop buildup in Afghanistan, and I oppose President Trump's," Rep. Jared Polis (D-Col.) tweeted. "Ongoing boondoggle costs American blood and money."

Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) also questioned the wisdom of extending the war. "Endless war in Afghanistan to support a corrupt govt is not in America's national interest," McGovern tweeted. "It's time for us to finally end this war." In a local radio interview this morning, McGovern insisted Congress had a "constitutional duty to debate these wars."

To that end, Reps. Walter Jones (R–N.C.) and John Garamendi (D-Calif.) have introduced a resolution requiring a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) for continuing military operations in Afghanistan.

"This critically important decision in Afghanistan should compel Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibility," Garamendi tweeted last night. "Congress must fully debate our goals and set clear guidelines for our actions in Afghanistan."

In the Senate, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) struck a critical note as well. "The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war," he said in a statement prior to the president's address.

Paul also wants to repeal the 2001 AUMF against the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks and their "associated forces." When the House passed the NDAA in July, Republican leaders stripped out an amendment that would have revoked the post-9/11 AUMF; the amendment had been sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the only member of Congress to vote against the original AUMF.

Back then, Lee warned that the White House could use the legislation to wage endless war without the appropriate authorization of Congress. She was right, and only Congress can correct its mistake.

The pro-war Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News last night he expected broad bipartisan support for Trump's Afghanistan strategy. He said he didn't think a vote was necessary on Trump's strategy but that he'd be "happy" to cast one.

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  1. What did ‘libertarian leaning’ Senator Flake have to say? Super libertariany, I’m guessing

  2. “Endless war in Afghanistan to support a corrupt govt is not in America’s national interest,” McGovern tweeted.

    Possibly true, but it’s the only government America has.

    1. Shouldn’t it be obvious that “corrupt government” is a redundant phrase?

      1. Especially in the old-fashioned sense of rotten, as in rotten meat, spoiled food, decaying corpse.

  3. Hey Krayewski, these colors don’t run.


    (heard often circa 2004-05)

    1. ..But never again after 2008

      1. Actually, the last night Con Man accused Obama of leaving Iraq – which apparently we should not have.

        (The tribes are killing each other there and somehow that is our fault)

      2. Yes, well? Obama, in his first term, got twice as may Americans killed in Afghanistan than Bush managed in two terms combined, without a squeak of complaint from Mr. Buttplug and his Blue Brigade. They thoroughly discredited any notion that they wanted to get out of pointless wars; they just wanted Team Blue to be the ones racking up the body count. Obama could have personally walked into a refugee camp and cut the throats of a thousand kids, and all Buttplug would manage to say would have been, “BUT BOOOOOOSH!”

        1. Or … as now …. crickets.

    2. …US has withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2016.

      Except for 8400 US troops.

  5. Look, you want bi-partisanship or don’t you? Afghanistan is one of the few things we have both sides can agree we need to stick our dick in and both sides can agree on just the tip.

  6. Cis-gendere warlord privilege!

  7. If the people of this country want the war to end stop trying to get government to stop it. That is an exercise in futility. The people that pay for politicians to run for office want war and the future employers of retired generals want war. If you want to stop war stop the glorification of the military. People that serve and are injuried deserve to be taken care of, but it would be better if they didn’t serve at all unless it is in the actual defense of this of this country. It is not our job to be policeman of the world. It is our job to create a country that every citizen of every country in the world wished they lived in instead of hating. Do we really need to spend as much as Europe, Russia and China put together. No country is going to attack us because it would be suicide. We have children in this country that go to bed hungry. We have roads in need of repair. We have an education system that is approaching 3rd status. We can do better. And we should.

    1. Fuck the troops. They knew what they were getting into when they signed their conscience away.

      What if they threw a war and nobody came?

  8. Get a vote on repealing AUMF so every congress critter is on record. If the majority doesn’t have the guts to go on record through a vote, then have constituents ask every one of them what they would do if they had a vote. (A good project for the Libertarian Party?) Then publicize the views of all of them so the good guys and gals can be sorted from the bad when U.S. troops are still in this quagmire in twenty years when President Chelsea Clinton is urging another troop surge.

  9. The war will end when voters get tired of it. So far, they are apparently enjoying it.

  10. Hey, Lindsey Graham’s right. Why shouldn’t we send more troops to Afghanistan? It’d be dumb not to!

  11. War. It’s Fantastic!

  12. The Industrialized Military Complex looks at it like this. You have a hammer, a saw and a few other tools in your garage/shop. They ask, what’s the point of having these things if you aren’t going to use them?

    They don’t care who gets hurt or dies. Ask long as Uncle Sam keeps ordering hammers, they don’t give a shit.

  13. War is the business of the generals and money is the business of Goldman Sachs. They seem happy together in Trumps White House.

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