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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 says she ranked Wiley first, Stringer second in NYC mayoral vote Five things to watch in the NYC mayor's race primary Heatwaves don't lie: Telling the truth about climate change MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSchumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure Feehery: 8 reasons why Biden should take the bipartisan infrastructure deal 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 WarrenThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate to vote on elections bill Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda Progressives fear nightmare scenario over voting rights assault MORE (Mass.), Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterWhite House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Biden risks break with progressives on infrastructure Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (Mont.), and Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse Republicans introduce resolution to censure the 'squad' Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters MORE (Minn.), Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaPublic option fades with little outcry from progressives Democrats shift tone on unemployment benefits Khanna outlines how progressives will push in climate infrastructure proposal MORE (Calif.) and Mark PocanMark William PocanThe Memo: The pre-Trump 'normal' is gone for good Overnight Defense: Pentagon pitches 5B budget | Kamala Harris addresses US Naval Academy graduates Pentagon pitches 5B budget with cuts to older weapons 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."