Congresswoman Barbara Lee: There is no military solution in Afghanistan

by Bay View staff

Barbara-Lee-sole-dissenter-military-force-091411-by-Enrique-De-La-Osa-Reuters, Congresswoman Barbara Lee: There is no military solution in Afghanistan, News & Views
Barbara Lee stood alone on Sept. 14, 2011, saying as she cast her lone No vote against 420 Yes votes to authorize military force in response to 9/11, “Let us not become the evil that we deplore.”

Washington, D.C. – When Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement Aug. 21 opposing President Trump’s announced plan to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Sixteen years ago, Rep. Barbara Lee was the sole member of Congress to vote against authorizing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan,” and for 16 years she has “waged a lonely crusade to repeal the war resolution.” Her warning that it would lead to “war without end” seems fulfilled by Trump’s announcement he’s sending more troops continue the war.

Even the National Review, voice of conservatives, observes in a story headlined, “In Afghanistan, Enough”: “The only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force], Barbara Lee of California, predicted that it would end up being a deathless ‘blank check’ for worldwide military operations without the explicit and specific authorization of Congress, and in that she was correct. The AUMF should be repealed and funding for operations in Afghanistan cut off unless and until the United States can define exactly what it is that its military is to accomplish in Afghanistan, at which time a new, specific, and limited AUMF may be drawn up. If the answer ends up being ‘killing bad guys,’ then maybe the current leadership in Washington should retire with a six-pack and some old Chuck Norris movies and turn this over to the adults.”

US-soldier-at-observation-post-Kunar-Province-Afghanistan-2011-by-Nikola-Solic-Reuters-300x167, Congresswoman Barbara Lee: There is no military solution in Afghanistan, News & Views
A U.S. Army soldier takes aim at an observation post in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in 2011. The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history. – Photo: Nikola Solic, Reuters

“I am deeply troubled by President Trump’s failure to outline a comprehensive strategy to bring an end to our nation’s longest war,” Congresswoman Lee announced Aug. 21. “After 16 years at war, one thing is clear: There is no military solution in Afghanistan. Any lasting peace in Afghanistan must be secured through diplomacy. Further military engagement will only put our brave servicemen and women in harm’s way while doing little to enhance our national security.

“This war has already cost our nation too much, in blood and in treasure. We have lost 2,386 brave American service members, and more than 20,000 American soldiers have been wounded. It is past time to end the war and bring all of our troops home.

“In 2001, I opposed authorization for this war because it allowed any president a blank check to wage endless war without Congressional oversight. The Constitution is clear: Congress must provide advice and consent in matters of war and peace. At a minimum, Congress should debate and vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force before we commit to another surge that will keep our troops in Afghanistan for years to come and cost billions more in spending.”

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, vice chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, former co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and a senior Democratic whip. She also serves as chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty. Congresswoman Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.