Senators Introduce Bill to Get US Out of Afghanistan

Sen. Paul says US should declare victory, withdraw

A bipartisan resolution has been introduced in the Senate on Monday calling for the US to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan. The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tom Udall (D-NM).

The resolution, called the 2019 Afghan Forces Going Home After Noble Service Act (AFGHAN Service Act), would declare victory. This is on the grounds that Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 and al-Qaeda is all but eliminated within Afghanistan.

The bill goes further than just Afghanistan, too, as with the completion of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, it would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). Though the AUMF was initially passed to invade Afghanistan, it has been broadly expanded by presidents since as a legal justification for wars across the world.

The text of the bill calls for all US troops to be out of Afghanistan within a year of passage. It would also call for all US troops who were deployed in the Global War on Terror (estimated at over 3 million troops) to get $2,500 bonuses.

Sen. Paul addressed the bill, saying that the Global War on Terror had cost $6 trillion, adding that the war in Afghanistan should’ve ended years ago. Sen. Paul cited President Trump’s admonishment that “great nations don’t fight endless wars” while pointing out that military goals had all been achieved years ago. He warned Afghanistan had just become a war of nation-building.

It is likely that the administration will object to this bill, since they are in the process of negotiating a settlement of the Afghan War. This bill makes no provision for a negotiated deal with the Taliban, instead turning over all facilities to the Afghan government and withdrawing US troops. 

Those wishing to contact their Senators to express support for the AFGHAN Service Act can find information to do so here. There is as of yet no specific timeline for a vote, but contacting them as early as possible may help rally support to advance the bill.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.