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-CortezHouse Oversight accuses Border Patrol of blocking investigation into secret Facebook group Company to provide free clothing to any female candidate The Democratic demolition derby MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination 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 WarrenWarren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' Klobuchar campaign gets first super PAC HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE (Mass.), Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocratic senator: 'The ultimate of ironies' for Trump to hit Romney for invoking his faith Committee on Veterans Affairs sends important message during tense Senate time Democrats cry foul over Schiff backlash MORE (Mont.), and Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Will Bernie have to turn on his bros? Rashida Tlaib detained by police during protest against low wages at Detroit airport MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Tlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Key House Democrat says Perez must go: 'He doesn't lead on anything' MORE (Minn.), Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Democrats call for Twitter, Facebook to take down Pelosi video posted by Trump The Memo: Sanders supporters sense victory in Iowa MORE (Calif.) and Mark PocanMark William PocanUSDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid 2020 Democratic hopefuls focus on Iowa while making final pitches Sanders endorses 9 progressive House candidates 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."