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-CortezPhiladelphia mayor: Trump would 'go to hell' if he had to go back to where he came from Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The four Republicans who voted to condemn Trump's tweets MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

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 WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (Mass.), Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives Democratic senators want candidates to take Swalwell's hint and drop out MORE (Mont.), and Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers House expected to vote Wednesday on Green's impeachment effort MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers House expected to vote Wednesday on Green's impeachment effort MORE (Minn.), Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHouse to test Trump's veto pen on Saudi arms sales Sanders campaign vents frustration with media, polls Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses MORE (Calif.) and Mark PocanMark William PocanOn the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners 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."