Afghanistanby Representative Walter B. Jones
Posted on 2013-12-03
JONES. Mr. Speaker, during the Thanksgiving break, I wrote a
letter to President Obama, which I would like to submit for the record.
The letter respectfully reminded the President that President Karzai continues to thumb his nose in the eyes of the American taxpayer. We have seen many news articles reporting Karzai's refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement that this administration has proposed, an agreement that would obligate United States money and United States troops for at least 10 more years in Afghanistan.
In an Associated Press article printed in my State paper, titled, ``Afghanistan President Delays Deal,'' the subtitle goes on to read, ``U.S. says it will pull out troops if security agreement isn't signed.'' Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that the House will encourage the President to pull our troops out and stop spending money that we do not have in a country that does not even want our help. Furthermore, it is my hope that the House and Senate leadership will, in 2014, allow Congress to vote on this issue of the bilateral strategic agreement.
Mr. Speaker, it is wrong that the Afghan Parliament may vote on whether they want this agreement with the United States, but the House and the Senate that represent the American people can't even have a debate and vote on the will of the American people. I know that the American people want this debate to take place. Hopefully, in 2014, the leadership of the House will at least let us have this debate on the floor of the House.
Mr. Speaker, if you could have traveled with me during the break last week, you would have heard many people in the Third District of North Carolina who said to me that they are outraged that we will continue spending money in Afghanistan at a time when we have so many financial needs at home. It is absolutely unacceptable that a single American would give his life or limb overseas without the approval of Congress. It is absolutely unacceptable that the American taxpayer would give money to a corrupt regime while young and old alike go hungry here in the United States.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to the President: Pull the troops out and bring them home now. There is not one thing history says we will ever change in Afghanistan, and nothing, history says, will change in Afghanistan. It is time to end this senseless waste of American lives and American money in Afghanistan.
Mr. Speaker, this poster beside me was in the Greensboro newspaper where Mr. McGovern and I had written a letter saying it was time for us to pull our troops out. Mr. Speaker, this poster says ``News & Record, Greensboro, North Carolina, February 2011.'' That's 3 years ago. We are still there, and we are talking about 10 more years. Let Congress debate. Let Congress speak. Let Congress vote the will of the American people.
Mr. Speaker, I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform and to bless their families, and please, God, continue to bless America.
November 26, 2013.
President Barack Obama, The White House, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. President: I write today due to the ongoing discussion between the United States and Afghanistan regarding a 10-year Bilateral Security Agreement to allow our troops to remain overseas beyond 2014. After reading today's Washington Post article titled ``Karzai tells Susan Rice of more demands for accord extending U.S. troop presence,'' I once again urge you to reconsider your stance on U.S. relations with Afghanistan.
This agreement will obligate billions of American tax dollars and expose American troops to further danger overseas--all while meeting President Karzai's ever-growing list of demands. After 12 years, billions of dollars, and President Karzai's continued disrespect for the United States, many in the House and Senate believe it is time to end our commitment to Afghanistan. However, despite the risks involved, the agreement will not be brought before Congress for a vote. It is a sad day when the Afghan government has voted on the agreement, but that opportunity has been denied to the United States Congress.
Mr. President, I have seen many people and spoken at many events while at home in Eastern North Carolina, and I have received nothing but support for my position that this agreement is entirely unacceptable. I respectfully ask you to take the wishes of the American public into consideration and oppose the Bilateral Security Agreement with Afghanistan.
Sincerely, Walter B. Jones, Member of Congress.