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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on the Ten Year Anniversary of the Afghanistan War

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke recognized the ten year anniversary of the Afghanistan War by submitting the following statement to the record in the House of Representatives:

“I rise today in recognition of the tenth anniversary of the war with Afghanistan.  For ten years our country, and the brave men and women who fight for us on the battlefield, have been mired in a seemingly unwinnable war in Afghanistan, a war that has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, and the death of 1,723 American service members.  More and more Americans are expressing a desire to end the war in Afghanistan.

“Recent polls have shown that 73% of Americans want to withdraw troops, and 66% of all veterans believe the war is not worth its cost.  There is no better time than now, on the 10th anniversary of this war, to reevaluate the continued conflict, and to commit to bringing our troops home.

“It is irresponsible to continue to spend over one hundred billion dollars a year on a war that Americans support less and less each day, especially as our country tries to fight its way out of the worst economic recession of our lifetimes.  This is money that is desperately needed domestically, and would be better spent on fixing our deteriorating infrastructure and fixing our education system.

“Our mission after September 11th 2001 was to dismantle the infrastructure of al-Qaeda and to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, and there is no denying that the current administration and our courageous men and women serving overseas have accomplished these goals.  It is time to bring our troops home, reinvest in our nation, and let the Afghani people take responsibility for securing their own nation.

“I believe the time to withdraw from Afghanistan is now, which is why I joined my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in support of H.R. 651, the United States-Afghanistan Status of Forces Agreement Act of 2011 which would establish a redeployment date for U.S. troops.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress, the President, and commanders in our Armed Forces to press for a speedier end to this war.  I yield back the balance of my time.”