Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) clashed with President Trump a few times. Yet, she too believes the US military no longer has any business in Syria and Afghanistan. Warren is seriously considering a 2020 run for the presidency and she represents Democrats who want less to do with lengthy wars overseas.
During an interview, Warren, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC what is happening in Afghanistan and Syria are unwinnable wars. She opposes troops staying abroad “forever”, as the foreign policy establishment would have them do. According to Warren, those working for defense and foreign policy have not proposed another solution and do not justify their stance with metrics.
Without consultation and fair warning, President Trump withdrew all 2,000 troops from Syria and called for the gradual exit of half of the estimated 14,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan. His change of policy was announced on Twitter. The troops in Iraq will not be affected. This abrupt and uninformed decision irked Warren, who is not alone in believing planned, deliberate schema plotted alongside international allies is a wiser course of action. President Trump’s decision resulted in the resignation of James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, and Brett McGurk, US special envoy to the coalition fighting IS.
After all, US presence in Syria helped Kurdish military forces retake land from IS, kept Turkey at bay, and countered Iranian and Russian forces keeping Bashar Assad in power. But Warren says US presence is no longer reinforcing stability and security for Afghanistan, where multiple terrorist forces are at work and heroin trafficking has increased. The war in Afghanistan was brewing for 17 years.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria were not a hot topic. Senator Tim Kaine, who ran alongside Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton as vice president, tried to bring attention to a reconsideration of George W. Bush’s war authorization in 2001. And he still deems this reconsideration relevant.
Barbara Lee, a Democratic House Representative from California, is still pushing for a repeal of the war authorization which she claims has been abused outside of its original function to invade Afghanistan. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, who joined the House on Thursday, agrees with Lee’s antiwar sentiment.
Currently, newly elected House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, does not seem very interested in debating the war. She is occupied with the partial government shutdown at present but last March, she commented positively on troops’ progress after a visit to Afghanistan with the congressional delegation she led there.
Featured image via Flickr/Edward Kimmel