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Our service men and women deserve better

The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in American history.

Over the course of 16 years, the war has cost hundreds of billions of dollars and an immeasurable human toll on our troops, our veterans, and their families—not to mention the toll it’s taken on the Afghani people themselves.

Yet Congress has not taken a single vote on this war for 16 years. Instead, since 2001, we’ve given the White House a blanket waiver to take military action against Afghanistan and other complex situations that did not even exist back then, such as ISIS.

I want to end this war. But now Donald Trump wants to send another 4,000 American troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total number up to 12,000. We cannot continue giving the White House a blank check to go to war. If Trump wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan, he should be required to come to Congress and justify that escalation and explain his plan, and then Congress should vote to approve or disapprove it.

I sponsored an amendment to require exactly that on the annual defense authorization bill. Yet the Republican leadership in Congress denied the opportunity to debate that amendment. For years, they have done everything they can to avoid a debate on this war, and this time is no different.

If Congress wants to continue putting our service men and women into harm’s way, they should have the guts to go on the record and take responsibility for it. To do anything less is shameful. Our military families deserve better, and I will continue fighting to hold Congress and our president accountable for unapproved wars.

Jim

Posted on August 4, 2017.

Meet Jim

Jim McGovern represents the 2nd District of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has earned a national reputation as a tireless advocate for his district and as a champion for food security, human rights, campaign finance reform, social justice and peace.

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