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Response to Escurumbele (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 11, 2021, 11:25 AM

89. Outstanding post. Great article by Rep. Barbara Lee.

Why are Americans paying $32m every hour for wars since 9/11?

was the sole member of Congress to vote against the war in Afghanistan. Congress has yet to stand up against endless militarism


Barbara Lee
Sept. 9, 2021

Excerpt…

Twenty years on, the US and the world are much worse off for this failure of leadership. It is time to turn the page on two decades of endless war with a vague and ever-shifting mission. While this begins with removing the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force from the law books, it will also require decisive changes in our foreign policy decision processes and resource allocation.

Shortly after the attacks, President Bush sent a 60-word blank check to Congress that would give him or any other president the authority to wage war against enemies of their choosing. It was a sweeping resolution known as the 2001 authorization for use of military force, or the 2001 AUMF. I was the lone vote in Congress against the authorization because I feared it was too broad, giving the president the open-ended power to use military force anywhere, against anyone.

The human cost has been high: an untold number of civilian casualties overseas, two generations of American soldiers sent to fight without any clear objective or oversight and thousands of our troops and other personnel killed, wounded and traumatized in action.

The Afghanistan war alone has cost more than $2.6tn taxpayer dollars and killed more than 238,000 individuals. The 2002 AUMF, which authorized war against Iraq based on fabricated claims of weapons of mass destruction, has cost $1.9tn and killed an estimated 288,000. Together, these two AUMFs have been used by three successive presidents to engage in war in at least seven countries – from Yemen to Libya to Niger – against a continually growing list of adversaries that Congress never foresaw or intended. The Bush, Obama and Trump administrations have further identified to Congress combat-ready counter-terrorism deployments to at least 14 additional countries, indicating that the AUMFs could justify armed combat in those places as well. Only 56 current members of the House and 16 senators were present at the 2001 vote, making a mockery of the constitutional principle that only the people’s elected representatives in Congress can send our country to war.

The results today are a perpetual state of war and an ever-expanding military-industrial complex that consumes a greater and greater amount of our resources every year. Pentagon spending since 9/11 (adjusted for inflation) has increased by almost 50%. Each hour, taxpayers are paying $32m for the total cost of wars since 2001, and these wars have not made Americans safer or brought democracy or stability to the Middle East. To the contrary, they have further destabilized the region and show no sign of ending or achieving any of the long-ago stated goals.

Continues…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/09/afghanistan-us-foreign-wars-congresswoman-barbara-lee

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