Bipartisan Group of Senators Push for Congressional Vote Before Extending Afghanistan Troop Presence

By Jack Goldsmith
Thursday, February 6, 2014, 3:40 PM

That is the title of this press release by Senator Jeff Merkley, announcing a resolution “calling for Congress to have a role in approving any further United States military involvement in Afghanistan after the current mission ends on December 31, 2014.”  The Resolution is sponsored by Merkley (D-OR), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).  As Senator Lee explains in his parallel statement:

The Administration continues to negotiate for a Bilateral Security Agreement with the Afghan government to keep troops in the country after 2014, and recent news reports indicate that the Department of Defense will recommend to the President that 10,000 troops remain there for the rest of President Obama’s tenure in office.

Any such proposal, if accepted by the President and agreed to by the Afghan government, would not end, but would extend the longest war in our nation’s history.

After over a decade of war, Congress, and more importantly the American people, must be afforded a voice in this debate.

Our resolution states that if the President and his military advisors determine it is in the interest of national security to keep troops in Afghanistan after 2014, they should bring their proposal to Congress so that it can be fully vetted, debated, and approved or disapproved by the representatives of the American people.