Senate resolution backs long-term US-Afghanistan partnership

The heads and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees introduced a resolution late Tuesday "affirming the Senate’s critical role" in supporting the postwar deal struck between Washington and Kabul in June. 

"An enduring partnership between our two nations is vital to securing the gains our troops have secured on the ground in Afghanistan,” Senate Armed Services Committee chief Sen. Carl LevinCarl LevinCongress: The sleeping watchdog Congress must not give companies tax reasons to move jobs overseas A lesson on abuse of power by Obama and his Senate allies MORE (D-Mich.) said in a joint statement released Wednesday. 

The resolution, according to Levin, "will help make clear to our Afghan allies, regional neighbors, and those who would seek to destabilize Afghanistan that America’s involvement will not end" even after American forces leave the country in 2014. 

Roughly 23,000 U.S. Marines are scheduled to begin coming home this summer, with the remaining 68,000 American troops to be periodically drawn down from the Afghanistan in the run-up to the 2014 withdrawal deadline. 

“It is essential for both sides to fully implement this pact," committee ranking member Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) said in the same statement. 

Other co-sponsors include Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLobbying world Kerry: Trump not pursuing 'smart' or 'clever' plan on North Korea Tillerson will not send high-ranking delegation to India with Ivanka Trump: report MORE (D-Mass.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Blumenthal: ‘Credible case' of obstruction of justice can be made against Trump MORE (D-Calif.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.). 

Aside from legislating Senate support for the administration's postwar deal with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the resolution also calls upon Congress to back the financial and political commitments agreed to by the U.S. and international community in Tokyo and other summits earlier this year. 

Those mandates would "combat corruption, protect the equal rights of all citizens of Afghanistan and enforce the rule of law ... and build inclusive and effective institutions of democratic governance," according to the Senate resolution. 

The legislation also ties U.S. national security interests to maintaining "a long-term political, economic, and military relationship with Afghanistan" that includes a limited U.S. military forces designed to support the country's security forces, the resolution states.  

Those forces would strictly be focused on U.S. support for counterterrorism and training missions in conjunction with the Afghan National Security Forces long after the 2014 deadline.