Support the Troops: End the War in Afghanistan!

Supporting the War Instead of the Troops

by Ron Paul

Last week, Congress debated a resolution [H. Con Res 248] directing the President to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan no later than the end of this year. The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the Congress, so it is clearly appropriate for Congress to assert its voice on matters of armed conflict. In recent decades, however, Congress has defaulted on this most critical duty, essentially granting successive presidents the unilateral (and clearly unconstitutional) power to begin and end wars at will. This resolution was not expected to pass; however, the ensuing debate and floor vote served some very important purposes.

First, it was important to finally have an actual floor debate on the merits and demerits of continuing our involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan. Most congressional action regarding Afghanistan has concerned continued funding for the conflict. Thus, members of Congress have cloaked their support for an increasingly unpopular war in terms of financial support of the troops. But last week’s resolution had nothing to do with funding or defunding the war, but rather dealt directly with the wisdom of an open-ended commitment of U.S. troops (and hundreds of billions of tax dollars) in Afghanistan. Members opposing the resolution had to make their case for the ongoing loss of American lives as well as the huge expenditures required for an intractable conflict.

In my opinion, this was an impossible case to make.

Supporters of the war made the same intellectually weak arguments for continuing our occupation of a nation with a long and bloody history of resisting foreign occupation. Ultimately, the war supporters in Congress prevailed in the vote on the resolution. Still, the vote was significant because it places every member of Congress on the record as supporting or not supporting the unconstitutional, costly, violent occupation of a country that never attacked us. This vote should serve as an important reminder to the American people of where their representatives really stand when it comes to policing the world, empire building, and war.

The War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 in the aftermath of Vietnam. It was intended to prevent presidents from slipping this country so easily into unwinnable wars, wars with indistinct enemies and vague goals. Unfortunately, it has had the opposite effect by literally legalizing undeclared wars for 90 days. In the case of Afghanistan, 90 days has stretched into nearly a decade. The original purpose of the initial authorization of force – to pursue those responsible for the attacks on September 11 – is no longer applicable. Al Qaeda has left Afghanistan; we are now pursuing the Taliban, who never attacked us. The Taliban certainly are not our friends, but the more of them we kill, the more their ranks grow and the stronger they become. Meanwhile, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan and accelerating our plunge toward national bankruptcy. Whose interests do we serve by continuing this exercise in futility?

Osama Bin Laden has said many times that his strategy was to bankrupt America, by forcing us into protracted fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union learned this lesson the hard way; and ultimately was forced to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in defeat and humiliation. This same fate may await us unless we rethink our policy and resist any escalation of our military efforts in Afghanistan. Our troops should be used for defending our country, making us safer and stronger at home – not for occupying foreign nations with no real strategy or objective.

(If you’ve found a spelling or transcription error, please notify us anonymously by selecting the misspelled text and then pressing Ctrl+Enter. Thank you!)


  • Jason

    In my opinion, those in power in Washington are no different than the terrorists they claim to be so valiantly fighting against. We have a history as a nation of invading(it’s termed an invasion for a reason) other countries for reasons of interest to those in power in Washington, reason that benefit them and them alone. The American people are lead to believe our nation is protecting the “rights” of those residing in the countries we invade when in reality we are stripping away those so called rights. America’s leaders threaten other countries that are not on board with the opinions of our law makers with the possibility of a with draw of support to those countries most times with the threat of withdrawing trade rights and an out right threat of refusing to ship goods to those countries if they do not support the agenda of whomever is in power in Washington at the time. Its time to spend our efforts and attention on our failing home land before we burn all the bridges we use to survive as a nation. When you back a person into a corner in those manners you give that person or country in this matter much of a reason to resent you and to turn violent against you for survival sake. What happened to taking in the tired hungry and oppressed? It is evident we are becoming the very oppressors we claim to fight. Bring our troops home so that they may be able to protect their families and loved ones and not the interests of those power and money hungry in Washington. No one person has it all figured out but a nation focused on it self and its people is bound to thrive. Its when we stick our noses in others business that we miss whats going on right under that very nose. Corny yes but you get the point. This country is in sad shape and its own people hurting, crime at all time highs and getting worse. When will we open our eyes to the oppression here on our own soil?

  • george

    It’s funny to read all these comments about this subject. All you really have to do to justify these wars, is flip everything around. How would we feel if China started invading the us, for it’s resources. I bet you everything I have, that the good ol’ boys would be blowing themselves up to prove a point too. All we can do is, fire them all, and rebuild with legit representatives.

    • Fred the Protectionist

      Who are the good old boys and why would they blow themselves up?

  • We were in Iraq for one reason and that was for OIL! Not to give the Iraqi people freedom. I think that I have heard a news report a few years back that Saudi Arabia and Iraq are in a huge budget surplus!

    • Fred the Protectionist

      See the Libertarians even use Liberal talking points, and they think they’re Conservatives, hah.

    • Fred the Protectionist


      What I meant to say was I’m a liberal, and I take offense to your conservative comment.

      My name is Fred, please worship me.

      • Fred the Protectionist

        Oh look the pathetic Libertarians are posting under my name, isn’t that sad.

  • Fred the Protectionist

    The Wars of Tribe and Faith

    By Patrick J. Buchanan


    Pat Buchanan presents a case as to why the US shouldn’t be involved. Ron Paul presents a case as to why it’s all America’s fault in addition to some wacky conspiracy theories.

    • Fred the Protectionist


      What I meant to say is that Ron Paul presents a case for why the US shouldn’t be involved.

      Pat Buchanon has some wacky conspiracy theories.

      I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that.

      • Fred the Protectionist

        Oh look the pathetic Libertarians are posting under my name, isn’t that sad..

  • Ben

    Longshotlouie says “When were the Taliban included as part of 9-11?”

    They didn’t carry out 9/11. Al Qaeda did. Nonetheless, the September 14, 2001 Resolution (that your hero Ron Paul voted for) states clearly that object of our military force will not simply be the people who carried it out, but also those who harbored them. (Technically speaking, those that carried out the attacks were already dead.)

    “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, OR HARBORED SUCH ORGANIZATIONS OR PERSONS, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” (emphasis mine)

    Longshotlouie, please read the resolution. You obviously haven’t. Either that or you’re being deliberately deceptive (much like Paul), but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re just ignorant.

    • longshotlouie

      I missed the perpetual war clause.

      • Fred the Protectionist

        I’m simple, i’m an isolationist, I don’t care about “Iraqi Freedom.” They’re not my countrymen, they’re not my relatives. I’m opposed to the war for that simple reason.

        But you Libertarians, being the Globalists that you are, you DO care about “Iraqi Freedom,” and yet you won’t lift a single manicured finger to help them achieve your ends.

  • Ben

    No, Longshotlouie, you are wrong.

    The Sept 14 2001 resolution (that brought us to war in Afghanisatan, which Patriot Paul voted yes on) does indeed state that nothing in it precludes the War Powers Act of 1973. But read very carefully what it says–

    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

    Ah hah! So what does 5 (b) of the war powers resolution say?

    (b) Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), UNLESS the Congress (1) has declared war OR HAS ENACTED A SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION FOR SUCH USE OF UNITED STATES FORCES, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. (emphasis mine)

    What it’s saying is that the President has sixty days to do what he wants as commander-in-chief but anything more than that requires Congressional approval. If he can’t get that approval, he has to terminate the mission.

    Section 2(b)(1) of the Sept 14th resolution states that Congress is giving him that permission. They are granting him the “specific statutory authorization” that satisfies the requirements set forth in 5(b) of the War Powers Act.

    Again, Congress gave Bush a blank check, and Ron Paul signed it. So at least he wasn’t always such a shitbird.

    • longshotlouie

      When will the war, and the name calling, end?

      tsk tsk

  • Forest

    Sounds great, but so what is Ron Paul’s plan to do with our troops once he brings them back home? Just have them sit around, collect a paycheck and a nice retirement and just suck off the governments tit? Have them get the FEMA camps ready for citizen enslavement?

    Really Ron Paul, or maybe we just bring them back and lay them off. Now that would actually save money, right?

    • longshotlouie

      Hmmm, maybe they could do what all of the other troops, that are at home, do.

      Another non-argument from you. Grasping at straws.

  • George Golden

    God Bless Ron Paul, this war needs to end, like yesterday.
    The 9-11 attacks were planned in Europe and trained for right
    here in America, so I know lets occupy Afghanistan for 10 years.
    This neo-con madness needs to end, along with the war in Iraq.
    We currently have 170 bases around the globe and we get mad when
    people refer to America as an imperialist nation, bring them all home.
    Its long past due, how many more of our fellow countrymen need to
    die, meanwhile 10 years later and there is still a big giant hole in midtown
    Manhattan, BRING THEM HOME !!!!!! Keep fighting the good fight,
    Congressman Paul !!!!!!!!

    • Fred the Protectionist

      Libertarians are the bonafide neocons.

      • longshotlouie

        Statists are the bonafide enemy.

        • Fred the Protectionist

          I’m not trying to be a spelling Nazi or anything, it’s just that propaganda muddles thinking. “Neocon” is a propaganda word that does nothing to clarify.

          • longshotlouie

            Be any kind of Nazi that you want.

            Weren’t you the one flinging the Neo-Con word around?

          • Fred the Protectionist

            I’m clarifying.

          • longshotlouie

            Like butter?

  • Ben

    Furthermore, Patriot Paul should re-read that September 14, 2001 Resolution that he voted YES on. If he did, he would find out that HE authorized the president to go after not only al-Qaeda (who orchestrated the attack) but also those who harbored al-Qaeda. That would include the Taliban.

    Section 2a)

    IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, OR HARBORED SUCH ORGANIZATIONS OR PERSONS in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons. (emphasis added)

    Notice that it even relies on the judegement of the president to determine who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks…”

    Congress wrote Bush a blank check, and Ron Paul signed it. Good for him!

    So when Ron Paul plays dumb and pretends that this war was never about defeating that Taliban, he’s full of crap. For the millionth time this week.

    • longsgotlouie

      More ignorance from uninformed defenders of statism.

      The resolution passed did not preclude the War Powers Act or the Constitution.

      When were the Taliban included as part of 9-11?

    • longshotlouie

      And where was the clause that called for perpetual war?

  • Ben

    Here’s one OIF veteran who doesn’t want Patriot Paul’s support, as it is no support at all.

  • Ben

    Dishonest Ron Paul is at it again:

    “The original purpose of the initial authorization of force – to pursue those responsible for the attacks on September 11 – is no longer applicable. Al Qaeda has left Afghanistan; we are now pursuing the Taliban, who never attacked us.”

    He sounds like that doofus Martha Coakley with his ridiculous assertion that there is no al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. al-Qaeda has not left Afgnaistan, see below:

    Of course, once you point that out, he’ll probably spin on his heel and argue that the presence of al-Qaeda in Aghanistan is proof positive that we aren’t winning this war and we should pull out. All of Ron Paul’s arguments are lacking in good faith.

    When Ron Paul says that there is no al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, he is LYING! Do you like bein lied to?

    • longshotlouie

      Now tell us about WMDs, grandpappy!!


      • Fred the Protectionist

        Iraq used poison gasses on the Kurds.

    • concerned citizen

      Angry Ben!! Methinks you are an enemy insurgent.
      America should have one foreign policy, and that is stay away from foreign places. Focus on the absolute chaos in this country. The mess from Katrina. The depressed housing market, the illegal immigration… Ask Israel for some IOU’s, to replace those DIU’s and start rebuilding America. Fire every single zionist shill on the Fed and spread their wealth around to US citizens who live below the poverty level, that would probably support them for a year or two. And while we are turning things around, lets get every person in washington who voted for a war to sign up THEIR sons or daughters to dance around the may poles in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or any other place they want to fight a war.
      1000000Iraqis murdered by the US/Israel. Millions of civilians mamed and wounded in Afghanistan by the US/Israel. Thousands murdered in the trade center tower MOSSAD hit by US/Israel. Meanwhile, “Very Important People” like House Speaker Pelosi flies back and forth across the US monthly to a tune of $400000 dollars in her jumbo jet…her kids dont fight silly wars….

  • Kale Ray

    The war in the middle east is ILLEGAL to our constitution.. is everyone forgetting that?

    • Fred the Protectionist

      No it’s not. The constitutional requirement of a Senate vote for war was met above and beyond it’s requirement by a dual Senate-House resolution for war. Is your memory selective?

      • longshotlouie

        I bet you could supply us a link to that document, huh Fled?

        Are you familiar with the War Powers Act?

        • Fred the Protectionist

          The Republicans can be labeled “Classical Neocons”, the Libertarians as “Bonafide Neocons”. lawl

          More accurately Republicans these days are neo-Republicans. They have abandoned everything the original Lincoln Republican Party stood for.

        • longshotlouie

          And still no answers. Has anyone noticed a pattern here?

          • Fred the Protectionist

            Poor Libertarian baby putting your hands over your eyes cause you don’t want to see the truth.

  • Fred the Protectionist

    “Our troops should be used for defending our country, making us safer and stronger at home – not for occupying foreign nations with no real strategy or objective.”

    You know Ron Paul voted 6 times against using US troops on southern border. Just saying…

    • Libertarian777

      Fred the Protectionist

      When you say he voted against using US TROOPS on the southern border… do you mean he voted AGAINST using the MILITARY domestically?

      Well i should damn well hope he did. Ref The Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 18, 1878

      We should use police and border/INS/customs agents to secure the southern border, not military troops. We’re not in a declared war with Mexico.

      • Fred the Protectionist

        The Ronulan compartmentalization continues.

        “Our troops should be used for defending our country, making us safer and stronger at home.”

        If troops are forbidden from operating inside the Continental US borders, then why should they be sent home to, “defend our country”?

        • Ragnar

          If they are brought back from overseas, where else could they go other than home?

        • Libertarian777

          Fred…you missing the point.

          The point is to NOT raise a large professional standing army.

          No wars.. no need for military troops.

          Instead you increase the funding going towards customs, INS and police (within reason).

          So you bring the troops home… honorably discharge them, then they can sign up for the police force.

          • Fred the Protectionist

            And you’re missing the point.

            “Our troops should be used for defending our country, making us safer and stronger at home.”

            You Libertarians are propagandists just like the socialists you revile. You do your little slight of hand trick making readers think that the troops will defend the US instead of defend foreign nations, but in reality your agenda is totally different than what you present.

          • longshotlouie

            Ya gotta love it when a warfare/welfare whore tries to question your motives.


          • Fred the Protectionist

            Wrong cheeseface, i’m a Pat Buchanan supporter; not too cowardly to call myself isolationist, nativist, and protectionist. Pat Buchanan is the rightful heir to Republican ideology, not you anarchist posers.

          • longshotlouie

            And yet Pat Buchanan has great respect for Dr. Paul while you despise him.

            No end to your contradictory machinations.

          • Fred the Protectionist

            “And yet Pat Buchanan has great respect for Dr. Paul while you despise him.”

            No, Pat Buchanan is just being polite. I’m not polite.

      • Fred the Protectionist

        I’m a Buchananite; a protectionist, a nationalist, a nativist, and an isolationist. I see no point in any of these wars, why should Americans bleed and toil for “Iraqi Freedom.” I could care less about “Iraqi Freedom”.

        But I would never ally myself with ‘you people’. You’re all nuts.

        • longshotlouie

          You really cannot figure out what you stand for, huh Fled?

          • Fred the Protectionist

            The only confused ones here are you Libertarians.

      • longshotlouie

        We’re taking over, Fled. Get use to it.
        Buchanan would kick you to the curb in a New York second. Why would he associate himself with an ignoramus?


        • Fred the Protectionist
          • longshotlouie

            It all leads to statism, when we are not attentive.

            Maybe if you call me another name your argument will be stronger.

          • Fred the Protectionist

            “It all leads to Statism”? Are you a Libertarian or an Anarchist.

            I thought you Libertarians claim you’re not Anarchists.

  • Roger S.

    This man is amazing ! He supports the Constitution and thats rare with politicans today ! I would move to Texas to vote for him in Congress if I could afford to. He is a man with some good old fashion common sense. Something this country needs more of instead of what we have in the White House now. Obama is spending more money than anybody has to date. He is sending more of our boys to die instead of bringing them home. Ron Paul is correct in saying if we would bring ALL our boys home from around the globe and stop trying to police the world, we would find less hate cast our way. We have stupid laws, wide open borders, and government running amuck on our rights and civil liberties ! Ron Paul For President 2012 and 2016 ! Let me help if I can !