Congresswoman Barbara Lee: No Military Solution in Afghanistan

Congresswoman Barbara Lee from California issued a statement to oppose the new Donald Trump policy about the unending war in Afghanistan. Barbara Lee was the only Congressperson to vote against the September 14, 2001, Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed just three days after the notorious terrorist attacks on the United States.


Not long before the 2016 election, Fox News flagship station Fox5NY republished an old telephone interview where witness Donald Trump suggested that plane impacts would not take out the building unless there were bombs planted inside or the planes were modified:

How could a plane … possibly go though the steel? I happen to that think they had not only a plane, but they had bombs that exploded almost simultaneously because I just can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall… It just seemed to me that to do that kind of destruction is even more than a big plane … These buildings were rock solid.

This video and republications became a campaign advertisement for conspiracy communities, with one partially entitled, “Watch This Before Voting.” Donald Trump was expected to expose the “deep state,” the 9-11 conspiracy, and end the wars.


Now, some seven months later, Donald Trump takes a stand to expand the Afghan War. In a prime time television speech, he announces:

I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national-security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out — and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office… After many meetings over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my Cabinet and generals to complete our strategy…

Bottom line: Donald Trump is reversing policy on ending the Afghan War.

A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options. We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.

Bottom line: Donald Trump will keep details from the American public and the war will not end any time soon.

Conditions on the ground — not arbitrary timetables — will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out. I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.

In reality, no matter how long or short it takes, local people and “enemies” will be there when and if the military pulls out, whether they “wait us out” or not — because they live there.


Before Donald Trump revealed his total flip flop on ending the “longest war” in Afghanistan, Erik Prince prepared and promoted a $10 billion plan to privatize the war. Erik Prince is the founder of Blackwater and the husband of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Upon the Donald Trump announcement,, the Robert Mercer funded propaganda outfit, published not one but two stories interviewing Erik Prince to sell the project.

Erik Prince is promising that sending $10 billion of taxpayer dollars would be cheaper and more effective in ending the war. Donald Trump’s vague speech sets the stage for a coming announcement that the war will be privatized and handed over to CEO Erik Prince to run the whole thing. Breitbart already claims the plan is under consideration:

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a plan drawn up by former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince to hire a private army to end the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, Breitbart News has confirmed.

Last month, The New York Times reported that Erik Prince:

called on the White House to appoint a viceroy to oversee the country and to use “private military units” to fill the gaps left by departed American soldiers. While he was at Blackwater, the company became involved in one of the most notorious episodes of the Iraq war, when its employees opened fire in a Baghdad square, killing 17 civilians. (Links in original)

After selling his stake in Blackwater in 2010, Mr. Prince mustered an army-for-hire for the United Arab Emirates. He has cultivated close ties to the Trump administration; his sister, Betsy DeVos, is Mr. Trump’s education secretary.

Ten billion dollars seems a pretty good take from the taxpayers for a secret plan run by an aspiring American oligarch. In the long run, privatizing military operations would make the United States government dependent upon a billionaire for the very lifeblood of national defense, just as privatization of schools nationwide would make every community dependent upon his wife Betsy DeVos.


Here is the Barbara Lee statement in full:

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement in response to President Trump’s announced plan to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

“I am deeply troubled by President Trump’s failure to outline a comprehensive strategy to bring an end to our nation’s longest war. After sixteen years at war, one thing is clear: there is no military solution in Afghanistan. Any lasting peace in Afghanistan must be secured through diplomacy. Further military engagement will only put our brave servicemen and women in harm’s way while doing little to enhance our national security.

“This war has already cost our nation too much, in blood and in treasure. We have lost 2,386 brave American service members, and more than 20,000 American soldiers have been wounded. It is past time to end the war and bring all of our troops home.

“In 2001, I opposed authorization for this war because it allowed any President a blank check to wage endless war without Congressional oversight. The Constitution is clear: Congress must provide advise and consent in matters of war and peace. At a minimum, Congress should debate and vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force before we commit to another surge that will keep our troops in Afghanistan for years to come and cost billions more in spending.”

(Featured picture: Barbara Lee, Erik Prince.)