San­ders State­ment on War Pow­ers Res­o­lu­tion

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Wash­ing­ton, DC

Sen.Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment af­ter Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for­mally asked Congress to au­tho­rize a mil­i­tary cam­paign against the Is­lamic State ter­ror­ist group: “The Is­lamic State is a bru­tal and danger­ous ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion which has mur­dered thou­sands of in­no­cent men, women and chil­dren, in­clud­ing Amer­i­cans. It must be de­feated.

“I voted against the war in Iraq be­cause I feared very much the desta­bi­liz­ing im­pact it would have on the re­gion. To­day, af­ter 13 years in Afghanistan and 12 years in Iraq, af­ter the loss of al­most 7,000 troops and the ex­pen­di­ture of tril­lions of dol­lars, I very much fear U.S. in­volve­ment in an ex­pand­ing and never-end­ing quag­mire in that re­gion of the world.

“I have sup­ported U.S. airstrikes against ISIS and be­lieve they are au­tho­rized un­der cur­rent law, and I sup­port tar­geted U.S. mil­i­tary ef­forts to pro­tect U.S. cit­i­zens.

“It is my firm be­lief, how­ever, that the war against ISIS will never be won un­less na­tions in the Mid­dle East step up their mil­i­tary ef­forts and take more re­spon­si­bil­ity for the se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity of their re­gion. The United States and other west­ern pow­ers should sup­port our Mid­dle East al­lies, but this war will never be won un­less Mus­lim na­tions in the re­gion lead that fight.

“It is worth re­mem­ber­ing that Saudi Ara­bia, for ex­am­ple, is a na­tion con­trolled by one of the wealth­i­est fam­i­lies in the world and has the fourth largest mil­i­tary bud­get of any na­tion. This is a war for the soul of Is­lam and the Mus­lim na­tions must be­come more heav­ily en­gaged.

“I op­pose send­ing U.S. ground troops into com­bat in an­other bloody war in the Mid­dle East. I there­fore can­not sup­port the res­o­lu­tion in its cur­rent form with­out clearer lim­i­ta­tions on the role of U.S. com­bat troops.”

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