Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez back 'end the forever war' pledge

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez back 'end the forever war' pledge
© Greg Nash

A group of Democratic and progressive lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez defends Dem lawmaker who said child migrant deaths were 'intentional' On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Murkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP MORE (I-Vt.), are sponsoring a pledge from a veterans group to "end the forever war."

Common Defense, a grass-roots organization of veterans and military family members, says that it has secured the backing of eight lawmakers for its pledge calling for the U.S. "to bring a clear end to these military interventions." The pledge was first posted last month.

"Our country’s military has been in a permanent state of conflict for over seventeen years. Veterans call it the 'Forever War,' " the open letter states. "The cost of this global, destabilizing, ever-expanding, endless war has been devastating, and regular Americans like us continue to pay in blood, lives, dollars, and the opportunity cost of investments which are desperately needed here at home."

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Those who sign the letter pledge to “fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military force” and “act to bring the Forever War to a responsible and expedient conclusion.”

“Over 2.5 million troops have fought in this ‘Forever War’ in over a dozen countries — including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Somalia, and Thailand,” it adds.

Other Democratic lawmakers who have signed onto the pledge include presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (Mass.), Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE (Mont.), and Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSteyer plans impeachment push targeting Democrats over recess Tlaib urges Mnuchin to seek personal legal advice Pelosi faces tipping point on Trump impeachment MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIt's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Omar hits Trump on 'stable genius' claim: 'Deranged, bizarre, incoherent, sad' Carson invokes abortion in Twitter response to jab from Omar MORE (Minn.), Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaProgressive Democrat says Trump victory shed light on divide between Silicon Valley, rural US Democratic rep says targeted sanctions on Huawei are 'reasonable' The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE (Calif.) and Mark PocanMark William PocanTrump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks Democrats seize on IRS memo in Trump tax battle The Memo: Trump allies see impeachment push backfiring on Democrats MORE (Wis.), according to the group.

Common Defense is an organization that advocates for dialing back the U.S. military's role overseas and has more than 20,000 members, according to The Intercept. The news outlet noted that the group secured support from the eight lawmakers after lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday condemned lawmakers' decisions that led to what she called "disastrous" war in Afghanistan. Asked by CNN host Jake Tapper about what she thought the U.S. should have done differently after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the freshman congresswoman said that the decision to “enter unlimited engagement in Afghanistan ... was a mistake.”

“I think that our decision to enter unlimited engagement in Afghanistan, particularly through the AUMF + Congress’ abdication of power + decision-making w/ passage of the AUMF, was a mistake. Other options: targeting the network itself, limited engagement, non-intervention,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.

Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is a policy that gives the president authority to use "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons."