Rep. James McGovern Statement on Obama Announcement on U.S. Troop Levels in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in the push for stronger Congressional oversight of U.S. military engagement abroad, released the following statement on today’s announcement by President Obama on Afghanistan.
“Today, the longest war in American history just got longer. I am deeply disappointed with the president’s announcement that the U.S. will not be reducing our troop levels in Afghanistan to 5,500 as promised and will instead maintain approximately 8,400 there. This is a step in the wrong direction.
“I agree with President Obama that the only way to end this conflict is through a lasting political settlement, but continuing America’s military presence in Afghanistan is not the answer.
“We are engaged in what appears to be an endless war, with no strategy about how to end the conflict and disengage our troops from the region. Our mission in Afghanistan lacks the clarity that the American people and our brave men and women in uniform deserve. I am disappointed that after 14 years of war, we are talking about continuing our military presence there instead of finding the political solution that is so desperately needed.
“Congress has a responsibility to exercise strong oversight of the wars our country is engaged in, but instead of doing its duty, Congress has refused to review this war and refused to vote on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force that clearly defines the current mission and ensures that there is a clear strategy for withdrawal. We cannot wait any longer.
“As long as Congress sits on the sidelines, there will be no end to U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. This is unacceptable not only for our national security, but for our brave men and women in uniform and their families. They deserve better and I will continue to help make their voices heard and call for us to finally end this endless war.”

As part of our series Western Mass Calling, we recently sat down with Rep. McGovern to speak with him on a number of issues; including the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. You can watch the episodes here: