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Walter J.

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  • Afghanistan

    by Representative Walter B. Jones

    Posted on 2013-03-12

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    JONES. Madam Speaker, I come to the floor quite often to remind the Congress that we're still at war. In fact, yesterday we had seven Americans killed in Afghanistan. This year alone, we've had three situations where the Afghans that we were training turned their weapons on the Americans who were trying to help them and killed them.

    [[Page H1335]] Our policy in Afghanistan is a total disaster. It is a failed policy, and we're not going to change one thing in Afghanistan. In fact, Madam Speaker, this past week, the new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, who's a friend of mine--I have great respect for him--was in Afghanistan, and Mr. Karzai accused Mr. Hagel and the American people of negotiating with the Taliban. The Taliban are our enemy and the enemy of Karzai. This just continues to show that this gentleman that leads Afghanistan is, quite frankly, corrupt, confused, and unpredictable.

    But what amazes me is this Congress continues to spend $6 billion to $8 billion a month in Afghanistan, when we have this person who is leading that country who, from one day to the next, either likes the American people or he dislikes the American people. In fact, in December of this year, Karzai was quoted in The Washington Post as saying he now has three main enemies: the Taliban, the United States, and the international community; and if he had to choose sides today, he would choose the Taliban. And now he's accusing America of cutting deals with the Taliban.

    Again, we had seven Americans killed yesterday. It's time for this Congress to wake up and stop spending money in Afghanistan. History has shown we will never change Afghanistan no matter what we do. Go back to Alexander the Great, Madam Speaker, and look at what he did there. Go to the English. Go to the Russians. Nobody is going to change that country. They don't want to be us to begin with.

    So why are we going to cut programs in America for children and senior citizens to make sure that Karzai will get his money? In fact, the inspector general for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, John Sopko, he testified recently that we are averaging spending $235 million a day--$235 million a day--in Afghanistan, and half the projects that we are spending money on are blown up within a few weeks after they are completed by the Taliban.

    I do not understand my own party, to say the least. I don't understand the Congress. Why do we want to keep spending money we don't have and deny the American people a fix for this economy and this country? Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to say that I have introduced, along with my Democratic friend, Rosa DeLauro, H.R. 125, the Congressional Oversight of Afghanistan Agreement of 2013. All we're trying to do is to get a debate on the floor to say: Why would we agree to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 to 2024? This agreement signed by this administration has obligated America to be there 10 more years after 2014. How many more Americans will have to die? How much money will the American taxpayer have to spend in Afghanistan? Ms. DeLauro and I would like to have a debate on the floor of the House if, for no other reason, if we can't even change the agreement that the President has signed, let the American people know that we want to debate staying there 10 more years and see young men and women die for a corrupt leader, a confused leader, and spend the money that we don't have for the American people. It makes absolutely no sense.

    In closing, Madam Speaker, this is just another example of war. These marines are carrying a flag-draped coffin. How many more families have to cry and lose a loved one in a failed policy, a policy where we will never change Afghanistan no matter what we do? In closing, Madam Speaker, I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform, to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform. I ask God in His loving arms to hold the families who've given a child dying for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I ask God to please continue to bless America.


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