You have probably heard that Mitch McConnell and many other Republican Senate members are chiding President Trump for bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and Syria. This, of course, is the “war caucus” supporting their lobbyists. Fifty-one billion dollars a year spent in Afghanistan every year supports a lot of defense contractors is my guess.The Senate passed an amendment yesterday demanding that President Trump keep American troops actively engaged in war in the Middle East. The cloture vote in favor was 68-23, which includes 43 Republicans. Think of it. Most of our Republican Senators are in favor of continuing USA war presence in Afghanistan and Syria. Why?
It finally passed by a majority of 70 to 26 — opposed by only three of the 53 Senate Republicans. According to AFP/Yahoo News, the amendment will eventually be incorporated into a broader security law on the Middle East.
The Senate finally flexes their muscles and who do they attack? The President of their own party. It seems to me that if the Senate disagrees with President Trump and wants US forces to remain in Afghanistan and Syria, why don’t they just formally declare war?
Some are saying that McConnell is warning President Trump that he has enough votes to confirm impeachment if the House presents it to the Senate. I think that is an empty threat, if that’s what it is.
Here is Rand Paul’s strong rebuttal to this resolution:
Here is the text of Amendment 65 (from the Congressional Record):
SA 65. Mr. McCONNELL (for himself, Mr. Graham, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Burr, Mr. Romney, Ms. Ernst, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Sasse, Mrs. Fischer, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Tillis, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Young, and Mr. Boozman) proposed an amendment to the bill S. 1, to make improvements to certain
defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize the appropriation of funds to Israel, to reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, and to halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people, and for other purposes; as follows:
At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. ___. SENSE OF SENATE ON WITHDRAWALS OF UNITED STATES
FORCES FROM SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN.
(a) Findings.–The Senate makes the following findings:
(1) The foreign terrorist organization al Qaeda, responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001, maintains a presence in Afghanistan.
(2) The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, better known by its acronym ISIS, flourished in the chaos unleashed by the civil war in Syria and at one point controlled extensive
territory in Iraq and Syria.
(3) Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates have murdered thousands of innocent civilians.
(4) Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates have proven resilient and have regrouped when the United States and its partners have withdrawn from the fight against them.
(b) Sense of Senate.–The Senate–
(1) acknowledges that the United States military and our partners have made significant progress in the campaign against al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham
(ISIS), and honors the contributions and sacrifice of the members of the United States Armed Forces who have served on the front lines of this fight;
(2) recognizes the continuing threat to the homeland and our allies posed by al Qaeda and ISIS, which maintain an ability to operate in Syria and Afghanistan;
(3) expresses concern that Iran has supported the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hizballah and the Assad regime in Syria, and has sought to frustrate diplomatic efforts to resolve
conflicts in these two countries;
(4) recognizes the positive role the United States and its partners have played in Syria and Afghanistan fighting terrorist groups, countering Iranian aggression, deterring the further use of chemical weapons, and protecting human rights;
(5) warns that a precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from the on-going fight against these groups, without effective, countervailing efforts to secure gains in Syria
and Afghanistan, could allow terrorists to regroup, destabilize critical regions, and create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russia, to the detriment of United States interests and those of our allies;
(6) recognizes that al Qaeda and ISIS pose a global threat, which merits increased international contributions to the counterterrorism, diplomatic, and stabilization efforts
underway in Syria and Afghanistan;
(7) recognizes that diplomatic efforts to secure peaceful, negotiated solutions to the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan are necessary to long-term stability and counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East and South Asia;
(8) acknowledges the progress made by Special Representative Khalilzad in his efforts to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan;
(9) calls upon the Administration to conduct a thorough review of the military and diplomatic strategies in Syria and Afghanistan, including an assessment of the risk that
withdrawal from those countries could strengthen the power and influence of Russia and Iran in the Middle East and South Asia and undermine diplomatic efforts toward negotiated, peaceful solutions;
(10) requests that the Administration, as part of this review, solicit the views of Israel, our regional partners, and other key troop-contributing nations in the fight against al Qaeda and ISIS;
(11) reiterates support for international diplomatic efforts to facilitate peaceful, negotiated resolutions to the on-going conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan on terms that respect the rights of innocent civilians and deny safe havens to terrorists;
(12) calls upon the Administration to pursue a strategy that sets the conditions for the long-term defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS, as well as the protection of regional partners and allies, while ensuring that Iran cannot dominate the region or threaten Israel;
(13) encourages close collaboration between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch to ensure continuing strong, bipartisan support for United States military
operations in Syria and Afghanistan; and
(14) calls upon the Administration to certify that conditions have been met for the enduring defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS before initiating any significant withdrawal of
United States forces from Syria or Afghanistan.