AFGHANISTAN; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 15
(House of Representatives - January 31, 2012)

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  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Jones) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, I read an article by the 
Associated Press that the French have made a decision to fast-track 
their withdrawal from Afghanistan and bring troops home by the end of 
2013 instead of the end of 2014. If France follows through with this 
accelerated drawdown, they will join other countries like Canada and 
the Netherlands, who have also drawn down their forces in recent years.
  I believe these countries are on the right track.
  The Department of Defense has recently been asked to find over $490 
billion in cuts. We are currently spending $10 billion a month, which 
equates to $120 billion a year, in Afghanistan. By bringing our troops 
home now, we would be saving hundreds of billions of dollars, which 
would prevent the Department of Defense from cutting other military 
programs. It simply is common sense to bring our troops home now and 
not wait.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote from a January 20, 2012, New York 
Times article by Matthew Rosenberg, titled, ``Afghanistan's Soldiers 
Step Up Killings of Allied Forces'':
  ``American and other coalition forces here are being killed in 
increasing numbers by the very Afghan soldiers they fight alongside and 
train, in attacks motivated by deep-seated animosity between the 
supposedly allied forces, according to American and Afghan officers and 
a classified coalition report obtained by The New York Times.''
  Mr. Rosenberg further states in his article, ``A decade into the war 
in Afghanistan, the report makes clear that these killings have become 
the most visible symptom of a far deeper ailment plaguing the war 
effort: the contempt each side holds for the other, never mind the 
Taliban. The ill will and mistrust run deep among civilians and 
militaries on both sides, raising questions about what future role the 
U.S. and its allies can expect to play in Afghanistan.''
  Mr. Speaker, more important than the money are the young men and 
women who are sacrificing their lives, limbs, and families by serving 
in a corrupt nation led by a corrupt leader.
  Beside me, Mr. Speaker, is a poster that I have been bringing to the 
floor from time to time of a young soldier from Fort Bragg, North 
Carolina, who is sitting in a wheelchair with both legs gone and an arm 
gone, with his lovely wife standing beside his wheelchair showing him 
their new apartment.
  How many more young men and women have to die? How many more young 
men and women have to lose their legs, their arms? And the sad part 
about it is that, as history has shown, no great nation in the history 
of the world has ever changed Afghanistan; and we're not going to 
change it either. History has proven that fact time and time again. It 
is time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.
  Before closing, Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the story of my visit to 
Walter Reed, which is in Bethesda, Maryland. A young Marine corporal 
from Camp Lejeune, which I have the privilege to represent, said to me, 
with his mom in the room: Why don't we come home, Congressman? Why 
don't we come home?
  It is time that this administration and this Congress say to the 
American people: We're not going to wait until 2014 to bring our troops 
home. We're going to start bringing them home in 2013.
  And with that, Mr. Speaker, in closing, I ask God to please bless our 
men and women in uniform. I ask God to please bless the families who 
have given a loved one dying for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I 
will close by asking God three times: God, please, God, please, God, 
please continue to bless America.