The Time Is Now To Repeal The 2001 Authorization For Use Of Military Force

For Immediate Release

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Contact: 

Paul Kawika Martin, Policy Director
Phone: 951-217-7285
Email: pmartin@peace-action.org

The Time Is Now To Repeal The 2001 Authorization For Use Of Military Force

WASHINGTON - Last night, President Trump announced a “new” strategy for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. In it, he made clear that the one thing that he won’t be changing is waging ongoing and unending war.

After nearly 16 years, it’s long past obvious that military options are not going to bring the longest war in American history to an end. Adding a reported 4,000 additional troops[1] to the 8,400 soldiers already there is not going to accomplish what 100,000 U.S. troops couldn’t do in 2011. The last 16 years has taught us there is simply no military solution in Afghanistan. Yet that’s apparently the only option the Trump administration even considered.

Indeed, it’s hard to consider smarter, diplomatic channels when 8 months into an administration, the U.S. still doesn’t even have an ambassador to Afghanistan. Ongoing war will certainly not solve the myriad of challenges Afghanistan faces today, including protracted political rivalries, rampant corruption and extraordinary poverty.

It’s time for Congress to correct the mistake it made when it passed the 2001 Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) but failed to include an end date to the authorization.

Write to your members of Congress today and ask them support a repeal of the 2001 AUMF, and to hold a debate as to whether they want to authorize ongoing war in Afghanistan.

By sending in potentially thousands more U.S. troops with no withdrawal date mandated, the war will now continue through its third presidency. When asked how long the U.S. will retain a military presence in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official responded, “How long have we been in Korea?”[2]

The answer to that question is 64 years and counting.

The war in Afghanistan has already cost the U.S. dearly in blood and treasure. Over 3,500 U.S. military and civilian contractors have lost their lives. That number is dwarfed by the more than 26,000 Afghan civilians who have died as a result of this war. All this at a cost of nearly $800 billion. We simply can’t afford to continue on this path.

Congress needs to take responsibility and reign the president, especially this president and this war, in.

Take a minute to contact your members of Congress today and urge them support a repeal of the 2001 AUMF, and to hold a debate as to whether they want to authorize ongoing war in Afghanistan.

When the AUMF was passed in 2001, it was intended to bring the perpetrators of 9/11 to justice. That goal has largely been accomplished. Yet, with Trump’s announcement tonight, and Congress failing to fulfill its constitutional duty, the war in Afghanistan will continue with no real plan for a lasting peace. Rather, we continue to have a blank check for a war with no end in sight.

Please, take a quick moment now and tell your members of Congress that you expect them to stand up and fulfill their responsibilities by repealing the 2001 AUMF, and debating whether to authorize continued, endless war in Afghanistan.

Humbly for peace,

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

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Founded in 1957, Peace Action, the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.

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