Defense

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez back ‘end the forever war’ pledge

A group of Democratic and progressive lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (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.”

{mosads}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 Warren (Mass.), Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ro Khanna (Calif.) and Mark Pocan (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.”

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Ilhan Omar Jon Tester Mark Pocan Rashida Tlaib Ro Khanna

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