House strongly rejects measure urging removal of troops from Pakistan

The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly opposed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Pakistan. 

The measure, sponsored by anti-war Reps. Dennis Kucinich (R-Ohio) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), was in reaction to reports that the government is running a secret war in Pakistan, which the lawmakers say violates the War Powers Act.

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It was voted down 38-372. Thirty-two Democrats and six Republicans voted for the measure. Four congressmen voted "present," three Democrats and one Republican. 

The vote took place days after newspapers published leaked documents suggesting that Pakistani intelligence has cooperated with Islamic extremist groups while simultaneously accepting U.S. aid to fight terror. 

Though the resolution was expected to fail, it gave Kucinich and Paul floor time to criticize the war in Afghanistan, which they both oppose.

“It is important to debate our presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan now as the website Wikileaks yesterday released more than 90,000 classified reports on the war in Afghanistan," Kucinich said in a statement Monday. "These documents provide a fuller picture of what we have long known about Afghanistan: The war is going badly. Nine years on, and we are still uncovering evidence that our presence is counterproductive in Afghanistan. Now we want to further expand drone attacks and the presence of U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan? Congress must act to nip in the bud any attempt to expand the war across the border into Pakistan."

The Obama administration has strongly condemned the leak as a danger to national security, but war critics have used the information to argue the conflict has is increasingly becoming unwinnable. The vote took place just before the House took up a bill providing $33 billion in funds for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. 

Kucinich introduced a similar resolution earlier this year to force the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan immediately. It was easily defeated. 


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