- U.S. Wars & Militarism
New Bill Would Require U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan Within One Year
On March 4, Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and Tom Udall (NM) introduced legislation that would require the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan within one year.
Called the “American Forces Going Home After Noble Service Act” or the “AFGHAN Service Act,” the legislation would also repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which authorized the war in Afghanistan more than 17 years ago. FCNL welcomes Sen. Paul’s effort to end the longest war in U.S. history.
FCNL believes the time has come for a full and permanent withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. We will continue to encourage all the parties inside Afghanistan and around the region to lay the groundwork for a durable peace. But we will not condition the departure of our troops upon reaching a negotiated settlement.
According to recent polls, a majority of Americans share Sen. Paul’s belief that after more than 17 years, it is time to end the war in Afghanistan, which has killed 150,000 people and cost U.S. taxpayers close to $1 trillion.
Sens. Paul and Udall’s bill would require the Secretary of Defense to develop, and report to Congress, a plan to withdraw all U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan within a year. The Secretary would also be required to formulate a plan for reconciliation and democratic elections in Afghanistan. After either the full withdrawal of all U.S. troops or 395 days (whichever is earlier), Sen. Paul’s bill would repeal the 2001 AUMF.
As multiple U.S. military officials have stated, there is no military solution in Afghanistan. Finding peace in the country will require a strong commitment to diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, and development. That is why FCNL supports the State Department and the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation in their efforts to advance peace talks.
Despite increased civilian casualties in 2018, prospects for peace in Afghanistan have been steadily improving. The responsible course is to end this war, undertake a full and permanent withdrawal of U.S. troops, and promote peace in Afghanistan.