Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
On the 17th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, one American congressman has called for its end.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said in a statement on Sunday that "American troops should come home" from Afghanistan, since our current course there is "not in our national interest."
The U.S. presence in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001 shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Our objectives following that attack were to destroy Al-Qaeda, kill Osama bin Laden, and prevent a recurrence of an ungoverned space in Afghanistan that allowed for terrorists to plot and plan attacks on Americans and our allies. We accomplished all of those objectives years ago."
Although Gallego, a Marine veteran of the Iraq War, seemed to push for a full withdrawal of American troops, he cautioned that "we must do so responsibly." A responsible exit, he wrote, would mean continuing to provide security assistance and diplomatic engagement to the Afghan government, and aggressively push for a peace deal.
All of which seems to undercut the "American troops should come home" part, since the U.S. is currently doing all of those things and yet the war continues unabated. Still, his statement notes that there are roughly 14,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan who have "no reason" to "stay there indefinitely."
Most, however, are providing support to Afghan forces and not engaged in direct combat.
Still, a statement like this is noteworthy, since many in Congress have not pushed in any meaningful war for America's longest war to come to a close.
Read the full statement below:
Today is the 17th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. Looking back at the many years of fighting in our longest war, at the successes and setbacks, and the death or wounding of thousands of Americans, allied servicemen and women, and our Afghan friends, it’s clear that continuing on the current course is not in our national interest. American troops should come home.
Our presence in Afghanistan began after the most heinous terrorist attack in world history – the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Our objectives following that attack were to destroy Al-Qaeda, kill Osama bin Laden, and prevent a recurrence of an ungoverned space in Afghanistan that allowed for terrorists to plot and plan attacks on Americans and our allies.
We accomplished all of those objectives years ago. Al-Qaeda is in shambles, Osama bin Laden is dead, and Afghanistan is no longer a place where threats to the American homeland can foment. With our objectives accomplished, there is no reason why the vast majority of the 14,000 Coalition troops in Afghanistan should stay there indefinitely.
While it is time to leave, we must do so responsibly. Our security assistance to the Afghan government, armed forces, and national police must continue to ensure that the Taliban does not return to power and that terrorists do not rebuild the base of operations they maintained prior to 2001. Our diplomatic engagement to support Afghanistan’s security and governance will only grow in importance after most American troops leave. And the Secretary of State should aggressively push for a peace deal between all parties in Afghanistan.
Over the past 17 years, almost 25,000 Americans have been killed or wounded in Afghanistan. Many thousands more bear the mental and emotional scars of combat. We must remember their sacrifice as we seek the best interests of our country, which involves the return of their comrades still in Afghanistan to their friends, family, and a grateful nation.
The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.
Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.
Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.