10 YEARS OF WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: AT WHAT COST?
(Extensions of Remarks - October 13, 2011)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1861-E1862]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




             10 YEARS OF WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: AT WHAT COST?

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. BOBBY L. RUSH

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, October 13, 2011

  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, no one will forget the fateful day of 9/11 or 
those who lost their lives in those shocking, cold-blooded attacks. The 
bombing of Afghanistan and the subsequent invasion was our response, 
intended to catch those who hid, armed, and helped plan the attacks on 
U.S. soil. And, due to the diligence and tireless efforts of the 
members of our Armed Forces and Intelligence community, we have 
eliminated nearly all the people involved in the 9/11 attacks, 
including Osama

[[Page E1862]]

Bin Laden, and overthrown the Taliban regime that supported them. If 
there was justice to be had surely, we have found it.
  Afghanistan has been embroiled in conflict since 1979 and there is no 
sign of an end to this conflict. The future stability of Afghanistan 
is, of course, an ideal we all wish for but with Americans deployed so 
far away from their homes and families, with our troop presence at an 
all-time high, and with the insurgency still on-going, we need to 
reassess why, 10 years later, we are still fighting a costly war with 
no victory or stability in sight.
  We have spent approximately half a trillion dollars in our war in 
Afghanistan. It is, therefore, past time that we remember what we've 
learned in the past: that fighting a war against a nationalistic 
guerilla organization takes more than technological superiority and 
force of numbers. Imagine what this resource could do on our homeland.
  Imagine how many schools, roads, and hospitals half a trillion 
dollars could build in our own country. Imagine how many hungry kids we 
could feed or how many of our sick we could treat. Half a trillion 
dollars could stamp out poverty in places like Philadelphia, Detroit, 
Memphis, and my hometown of Chicago.
  It is perplexing to me, then, why some people would rather spend half 
a trillion dollars on an unwinnable war abroad rather than on solutions 
to problems here at home.
  I sincerely hope that the Afghan people get to enjoy the benefits of 
living in a free and prosperous society. They should be free to pursue 
the education or livelihood of their choosing. I have great respect for 
our foreign policy and the fact that we care so deeply about the 
freedoms of those abroad but now is the time we need to be ensuring the 
economic freedoms of our citizens here at home.
  Now is the time that we must refocus on our own country and reinvest 
in our people and their future. Not tomorrow, not next year, but now! 
Our rates of unemployment and poverty, if left neglected, will only 
further divide a nation whose principles serve to inspire the world.
  The battles we should be fighting are America's war on poverty and 
our still-to-be-seen war against unemployment. There is terror here at 
home, the terror that families face when faced with the question of how 
they are going to pay their bills or feed their children--the terror 
and anxieties our citizens feel because they believe their government 
will simply abandon them. Once again, Mr. Speaker, that is the war we 
should be fighting and the one that, if we come together, I believe we 
can win.

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