On December 12, 2013 Rep. McGovern of Massachusetts asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for a few minutes regarding Afghanistan. Here is some of what he had to say:
“The President has not made a case about how any number of troops remaining in Afghanistan after 2014 can improve the confidence of Afghan forces when our current greater and more intensive engagement over the past decade has not been able to do so. It is completely unclear whether the April elections will improve the Afghan Government, given its ingrown corruption, sectarian divisions, and Taliban insurgency. There are no compelling reasons to remain.”
“We need to turn Afghanistan over to the Afghans now, not 10 years from now. We need to bring our troops home by no later than the end of 2014, just as President Obama promised. If this is the so-called “zero option,” then it is the best option. We do not need to keep another 10,000 to 12,000 American troops in Afghanistan for another 10 years at the cost of about $80 billion or more each year. They will continue to be in harm’s way; they will continue to be carrying out dangerous operations; they will continue to be wounded body and soul; and they will continue to be killed”, he said.
“For what? So one of the most corrupt governments in the world can continue living off of our blood and treasure? So military contractors can continue lining their pockets? We are cutting programs right and left in the budget, but we are supposed to keep pouring tens of billions of dollars into Afghanistan for another decade? All of it is borrowed money charged to our national credit card. I say enough is enough”, said Rep. McGovern (source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/).