West Side Congressman Jerrold Nadler led an effort by House Democrats yesterday to end the war in Afghanistan by stripping funding for military operations there.
The current budget earmarks $100 billion for the war there, despite the fact, as Nadler notes, there are believed to be fewer than 100 Al-Qaeda operatives. Nadler proposed cutting the budget figure to $10 billion, which is believed to be the amount necessary to safely withdraw troops there.
“At this point, we must recognize that rebuilding Afghanistan is both beyond our ability, and beyond our mandate to prevent terrorists from attacking the United States,” Nadler said on the House floor. “We are debating on this floor hundreds of budget cuts – cuts that will grievously hurt millions of Americans – in order to reduce our expenditures by less than $100 billion. Yet we are throwing $100 billion a year – plus countless lives – down a drainpipe, for no useful purpose at all, and with very little discussion of our purposes and whether or policy matches our purposes. To continue so bad a policy at so high a cost is quite simply unconscionable.”
President Obama has proposed beginning to withdraw troops some time this summer, but the administration has signaled that the U.S. will have a significant presence in the country untol at least 2014.
Video of Nadler’s floor speech below: