U.S. Rep. Jason Crow has introduced legislation that would prevent the Trump Administration from stationing fewer than 5,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan without submitting the drawdown operation to congressional oversight.
Crow said in a statement that although he served in Afghanistan while in the Army, “I also know the limitations of military power. If there was a military solution to the war in Afghanistan, we would’ve found it long ago. The war in Afghanistan must end, but we must do so in a way that ensures lasting peace...This bill is transformative in its ability to ensure that we keep our promise - to the women and children of Afghanistan, to our partners and allies in peacekeeping, and to a safer, and more secure world order.”
The bill would also trigger oversight if troop levels dip below 8,000. The New York Times reported last week that there were 8,600 soldiers in the country currently, with further withdrawals planned.
The United States first deployed warriors to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The George W. Bush Administration intended to go after the Taliban, which provided sanctuary for the group that perpetrated the attacks, al-Qaeda.
Crow’s legislation would require the administration to submit reports to Congress certifying that removing troops does not compromise the U.S.’s anti-terrorism efforts, would not risk the expansion of terrorist networks, and contain a description of the ability of Afghan troops to handle security in the country. There would also need to be an analysis of the current state of civil and human rights for Afghan women, people with disabilities and minorities, and the status of terror attacks and released prisoners.
If the U.S. Department of Defense fails to submit the report, they would be barred from using appropriated money for the withdrawal.