News / Asia

House Votes Down Afghan Withdrawal Resolution

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a resolution calling for a quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  The vote was 356 against and 65 in favor of the resolution.  Even though the final tally was not close, the debate in the House gave anti-war lawmakers an opportunity to vent their frustrations about the war.

The effort to end U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan was led by a familiar anti-war face in Congress, Democrat Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

Kucinich said the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan was approved shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and that it was time for Congress to reconsider America's commitment there.

"To reflect on our responsibility for troop casualties that are now reaching 1000, to look at our responsibilities for the cost of the war, which approaches $250 billion, our responsibility for the civilian casualties and the human costs of the war," said Dennis Kucinich.

Kucinich is also a longtime opponent of the war in Iraq.  He made a name for himself as an anti-war candidate during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.

Kucinich offered a motion on the House floor that directed the president to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan within 30 days or by the end of the year, if the 30 day deadline was deemed unsafe.

The Ohio representative won the support of only 60 Democrats and five Republicans in the House vote.  They are frustrated by the length of the conflict in Afghanistan and they opposed President Barack Obama's decision late last year to send additional troops.

The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats opposed the resolution.

Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted the recent success of a U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan.

"Our brave men and women are making steady progress against the deadly foe and are doing so at great risk to their lives," said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. "This offensive is already producing dramatic success, including the capture of senior Taliban leaders, the routing of their forces and the stabilization of key areas.  A winning strategy should be supported, not undermined."

Several Democrats joined Republicans in speaking out against the withdrawal resolution, including Representative Howard Berman of California, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"If we withdraw from Afghanistan before the government is capable of providing a basic level of security for its own people, we face the prospect that the Taliban once again will take the reins of power in Kabul and provide a safe haven to al-Qaida," said Howard Berman. "That would be a national security disaster."

Even though the House easily rejected the call to pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan, there were many complaints about the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai from members on both side of the issue.

New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler supported the withdrawal resolution.

"We should not use our troops to prop up a corrupt government," said Jerrold Nadler. "It is simply not justifiable to sacrifice more lives and more money on this war."

Supporters of the resolution to force a U.S. withdrawal knew that they did not have the votes to succeed.  But they wanted to use the debate to vent their frustrations over the cost of the war and their concerns about America's military strategy in Afghanistan.

President Obama says he would like to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July of next year.  During a trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. troop drawdown could begin sooner than that, based on conditions on the ground.   

You May Like

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs