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Congressional Progressive Caucus Leaders Oppose Trump, Mattis on Deployment of Troops to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Chair Barbara Lee (D-CA) made the following statement in response to reports of President Trump’s authorization of a troop increase in U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan: 

“Before becoming president, Donald Trump pushed for an end to the longest war in U.S. history. Tonight, President Trump betrayed yet another campaign promise to chart an alternative foreign policy by presenting a strategy in Afghanistan that simply retreads the same tried-and-failed tactics enacted by previous administrations. By pursuing yet another ‘troop surge’ instead of diplomatic efforts, Trump will only prolong U.S. involvement in this senseless, decade-and-a-half-old conflict. We cannot ask our servicemen and women to continue to sacrifice again and again with the shifting objectives and vague goals that the administration is using to justify this endless war.”

“As an alarming range of life-and-death decisions are being relinquished to unelected military officials, Congress must urgently step in and fulfill its constitutional duty to oversee war. We must repeal the ill-fated Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001, which has been used as a blank check by three administrations for a conflict that has dragged on for nearly 16 years, has cost taxpayers nearly $1 trillion, and has killed thousands of Afghans and Americans.

“Neither Trump nor his top military officials have offered a plausible explanation of how more U.S. troops and weapons in Afghanistan will lead to a victory. They have offered no clear idea of what success might look like or any metrics for gauging success. A fresh deployment of additional U.S. personnel will, instead, aggravate the war’s human costs. After almost 16 years, it is clear that there is no military solution in Afghanistan: only a diplomatic approach, which acknowledges the complexities of the country, can bring about a just and lasting peace for Afghans.”

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.

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