More and more Americans are finally coming to terms with the fact that military action in Afghanistan is no longer in the best interest of United States national security.
Earlier this month, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., advocated for the adoption of Amendment #871 to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act which would have repealed the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
Implemented immediately following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the AUMF has served as the blanket authority for the executive branch to wage wars without congressional approval. The 2001 and 2002 resolutions have not only authorized war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but has also authorized drone strikes in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. Unfortunately, Paul’s amendment to return war powers back to Congress went down by a vote of 36-61.
Sixteen years and three presidents later, AUMF is still being used to prolong the war in Afghanistan. Last month, President Trump announced his ambiguous plans for Afghanistan. These plans failed to outline the number of troops to be deployed, the amount of money to be spent, and how long America will have a presence in the country. Most importantly, however, he failed to explain what victory in Afghanistan would look like. What was made clear, however is that he has made the decision to send more troops into the region, thereby putting more American lives in danger.
Despite calls for de-escalation by Paul and the public, many of whom voted for an ‘America First’ foreign policy, the Trump administration is re-branding and repeating the same failed policies of the past.
In order to end a war that is not serving our greater national interests, we need to take action. We need action to bring home our troops, save American lives, and end this perpetual state of war.