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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  March 10, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

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believed that the bus carried fresh taliban fighters sent to help those under attack. only the source of intelligence used to determine that the bus carried insurgents has not been made known. admiral mike mullen claimed the goal of the operation was to have no civilian casualties. a brookings 2009 constitution report -- institution report estimates that 10 civilians doo you for every militant kill -- for every militant killed. an artist -- article published, called "america's secret presence reveals the seek rel detention facilities." i ask unanimous consent to submitt that. the bombings must stop, the alleged torture of afghans captured in such night raids and the slaughter of innocent civilians only serve to embolden -- the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. berman. mr. berman: thank you, madam chair. i would like to yield an additional two minutes of our time to the ranking member to be added on to herr time and subtracted from our time -- to her time and subtracted from our time and now i'd like to yield three minutes to the asia pacific and global environment subcommittee, the delegate from american samoa, mr. eni faleomavaega. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, and the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. faleomavaega: i thank the distinguished gentleman of our committee on foreign affairs to allow me to talk about the proposed legislation. despite our situation in afghanistan, i do say i have the utmost respect for the gentleman from ohio for
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bringing this resolution for purposes of public debate among our colleagues. i also want to say that i associate myself with the remarks made earlier by my colleague from georgia, mr. kingston, in saying why not, why not debate the issue? this should be something that we should not deprive ourselves of the idea of understanding it more of the situation we're dealing with in afghanistan. madam speaker, after eight long years in that country for the united states and 30 years of the afghan people, i remain skeptical that adding 30,000 u.s. troops and focusing more on local and provential governments will bring success in afghanistan. do i of course want our new strategy to succeed, and i know our military and civilian personnel on the ground will give it their supreme efforts. they represent the very best of -- this country has to offer. yet, afghanistan's history is repeat with outside powers
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attempting to take over or remake the half began people. from alexander the great, to beginning is khan, even to the -- to genghis kahn, even to us. by adding 30,000 additional troops to the 68,000 troops that we now have on the ground in afghanistan, we are adding approximately 100,000 additional troops with nato forces to go after some 27,000 taliban and a couple hundred al qaeda. by the way, i wanted to ask, was it the taliban or al qaeda people that attacked us on 9/11? i believe it was al qaeda. 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 was saudi arabs. interesting to note that. a number of things is indeed most objective observers believe it will take a commitment of years, perhaps even decades by our troops and hundreds of billions of dollars by our taxpayers for afghanistan to overcome its
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divisions, to develop and maintain a functional government. when i weigh the likely cost of lives and resources against the potential benefit for u.s. security, i am left wondering whether we are in fact on the right track. here's something that i'm trying to figure out. i'm not a genius when it comes to military strategy. the taliban are posthoustons. 12 million -- are posthuns. 12 million. and yet right on the border between pakistan and afghanistan, 27 million additional past unis also live on -- pastuns live on the side of the bothered. is it any wonder why we have such a difficult time in locating osama bin laden because they've been going between pakistan and afghanistan for all these years?
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madam speaker, i do not believe invoking the 1973 war powers act is appropriate at this time. september, 2009, they passed a resolution signed by the president four days later which granted the president authority to use all necessary force against those who committed the september 11 attacks in 2001. so whether one agrees with the war in afghanistan or not, whether one agrees with the administration's new strategy or not, there should be no doubt that concurrent resolution yq%=9
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by u.s. military forces may
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undermine popular support and legitimacy. the united states is also unlikely to remain for the during aches of most insurgencies. this assessment of 90 insurgencies indicates it takes an average of 14 years to defeat insurgents once an insurgency develops. the assessment does not fit in the president's supposed rapid increase and the shaky planned withdrawal in september of 2011. the brookings institute says, the actors needs to improve the quality of local governance, especially in rural areas of afghanistan. research in the east and south shows that development and reconstruction did not reach most rural areas because of the deteriorating security environment. even a provential reconstruction team which was specifically designed to assist in development and reconstruction projects operated in pockets in east and south because of security
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concerns. n.g.o.'s and state agencies such as usaid were also not involved in reconstruction and development in many areas of the south and east. the irony in this situation is that rural areas, which were at most risk from the taliban and unhappy with the slow pace of change was greatest among the population received little assistance. the counterinsurgency in afghanistan will be won or lost in the local communities of rural afghanistan, not unusualan centers such as kabul, says the brookings institution. now, someone i'm not used to quoting. george will wrote in "the washington post" that, quote, counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and ratio required to protect the population indicates that nationwide afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. that is inconceivable. unquote. for how long are we willing to dedicate billions of dollars
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and thousands of lives before we realize we can't win afghanistan militarily? our biggest mistake in the afghanistan strategy is to think we can separate the taliban from the rest of the population. we cannot. the taliban is a local resistance movement that part in par sell of an inthe distinguished gentleman from nant population. we lost vietnam because we did not provide them with a competent government that provided them with basic security and a decent living. the strategy for winning afghanistan is simple. stop killing the people and they'll stop killing you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to yield to my florida colleague, mr. stearns, a member of the veterans' affairs and energy committee, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. stearns: i thank my distinguished colleague. my colleagues, this debate is reminiscent of a debate we had three years ago almost to the date.
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now, february 14, 15 and 16. and you remember, mr. kucinich, the gentleman from ohio, the debate was you tried to force us to pull out of iraq before the job was done. i hope you remember that. from the moment we got there, many of the folks wanted us to leave. but most remarkable is that these same folks wanted us to leave just before we stabilized iraq. they are not in favor of a surge and yet the surge worked. now, they want us to leave afghanistan in 30 days without giving this new strategy a chance to succeed. the president of the united states is indicating he wants us to stay there for 18 months. why won't the president fulfill his own commitment he made publicly? are they so afraid they would undermine the president? we have an opportunity to let general mcchrystal apply the successes in iraq to afghanistan which i might add, my friends on the other side of the aisle, opposed and possibly stabilize the country. we must let the strategy work
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and achieve the success like we had in iraq. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. kucinich: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. now i'd like to yield a minute to the gentleman from florida, another florida colleague, mr. rooney, a member of the armed services and judiciary committees. the speaker pro tempore: how long? ms. ros-lehtinen: one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rooney: first i want to acknowledge and thank congressman buche disturb bue chair -- bue chairy and duncan for their service. i hear from many directly about the progress being made and the need for the continued support of this congress. it's for that reason i will vote no on this resolution.
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withdrawal now would destabilize that area of the world and create a vacuum for troor. groups like al qaeda and the taliban will increasingly gain access to weapons that will create damage to our allies and eventually us. general mcchrystal's implementation of president obama's counterinsurgency strategy is producing dramatic successes, including capture of key taliban leaders and the rooting of taliban forces. a withdrawal now undermines what our troops have done. and undermines the winning strategy we are pursuing in afghanistan, a strategy we all know the united states can achieve. it is for that reason i encourage my colleagues to send a message to our troops. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. kucinich: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. does the gentlewoman from florida wish to be recognized?
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ms. ros-lehtinen: yes. madam speaker, at this time i'd like to yield two minutes, our remaining time, to the gentleman from california, mr. lungren, the ranking member on the committee on house administration and a member of the homeland security and judiciary committee. i can think of no better person to close our debate on our side. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. lungren: i thank the gentlelady. madam speaker, i join the chairman and ranking member of the committee in opposing this resolution. sometimes in public debate we ask the wrong question. are we placing ourselves in the wrong context? i'm reminded of a headline that i saw not too long ago on a domestic issue and the headlines said this simply, prison population increases despite drop in crime. for those of us involved in the criminal justice system, we thought maybe it never dawned on that writer that the crime rate was dropping precisely we were putting the bad guys in prison. similarly today, this resolution sets an arbitrary
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deadline for troops to leave afghanistan, and if is a terribly misguided reading of the facts we face today. our troops are succeeding. no one questions that. our allies are helping us. why then would we handicap them today with such a terrible message from our congress? that is, despite what you're doing on the ground, despite your successes, we're going to pull you out with an arbitrary date. what could be more demoralizing, what could be more wrong? madam speaker, this resolution, unfortunately, is the wrong question, it sends the wrong message and it's being sent at precisely the wrong time. i hope that we have a strong vote against this resolution so that our troops will have an unquestioned message of support
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from us that we recognize what they're doing, we follow what they're doing, we support what they're doing and we rejoice in their victorious work today and in the days ahead. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. kucinich: i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: the more troops we send into afghanistan, the more support the taliban gains as resisters of foreign occupation. we want to negotiate with the taliban in the future while at the same time conducting air strikes to take out taliban strong holds across the country. just yesterday "the washington post" published an article about the province and the pouring in of taliban fighters fighting a retreat of u.s. armed forces from december. if we accept the premise that we
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can never leave afghanistan until the taliban is eradicated, we may be there for a very long time. the justification for our continued military presence in afghanistan is that the taliban in the past has provided a safe haven for al qaeda. it could do so in the future. general petraeus has already admitted that al qaeda has literally no presence in afghanistan. we have to be careful about branding al qaeda and taliban as a single terrorist movement. al qaeda is an international organization and, yes, they're a threat to the united states. taliban is only a threat to us as long as we continue a military occupation of afghanistan. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentlewoman from florida wish to be recognized? who seeks recognition? mr. berman: could i ask the gentlelady how much time we have remaining on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio has four
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minutes remaining, the gentleman from california has three minutes remaining and the gentlewoman from florida has 30 secretaries remaining. -- seconds remaining. who seeks recognition? mr. kucinich: i will. i yield to the gentlelady from california, congresswoman barbara lee, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for two minutes. ms. lee: thank you very much, madam speaker. first let me thank the gentleman from ohio for this very important resolution. today's debate and discussion on the path forward in afghanistan and the proper role of congress in determining united states commit am of our country while at war, this debate and discussion long overdue so, thank you, congressman kucinich, for bringing this to the floor. now, in our ninth year of war, this body has yet to conduct a full and honest accounting of the benefits, costs, affordability and strategic importance of united states military operations in
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afghanistan. in order to understand afghanistan and where we are today in terms of our commitment, i think it's really useful to point to how we got here. of course, after the horrific events, the tragic events of 9/11 in 2001, now i had to vote against the authorization to use force. this use of force authorization. because i knew that that authorization was a blank check to wage war anywhere, any time and for any length. almost nine years later, in reflecting on the rush to war in afghanistan and the bush administration's war of choice in iraq, the sacrifices made by our brave young men and women in uniform and the cost to our economic and national security, all of these costs are totally immeasurable. countless innocent civilians have lost their lives in afghanistan and just a few weeks ago the number of american troops killed in afghanistan rose to over 1,000. where does this end?
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where does it end? we've already given $1 trillion to the pentagon for the wars in iraq and afghanistan and the economic impact of these wars is estimated to be as much as $7 trillion in direct and indirect costs to the united states. it's our responsibility as members of congress to really develop a more effective u.s. foreign policy for the 21st century. after a decade of open-ended wars, you i encourage my colleagues to finally stand -- i encourage my colleagues to finally stand firm in their prerogative to determine -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. lee: can i have an additional 10 seconds? prerogative to determine when the united states enters into war. thank you, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. who seeks recognition?
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the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, madam speaker. in closing, i would like to build on something that our colleagues from california -- colleague from california, mr. hunter, had said earlier about the need to fight and defeat the enemy in afghanistan so that our children or our grandchildren don't have to. our men and women in uniform are fighting for their families, for our families, for our nation, for our future. they embrace their mission, they are honored by the opportunity to serve, they volunteered for it, let us show our appreciation by voting no on this damaging resolution before us today. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. the gentleman from california reserves? mr. berman: yes, madam chair, because i have no further speakers and i understand that
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the sponsor of this resolution has both the right and the intention of closing, i will yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. kucinich: i want to thank mr. berman and my colleagues for this opportunity to engage in this important debate. the number of troops in afghanistan will increase from about 70,000 at the end of 2009 to the stated goal of 100,000 by july of this year. my resolution calls for the withdrawal of all u.s. armed forces from afghanistan no later than december 31 of this year. and it can be done. unlike iraq where we have significant infrastructure built in and around the country to support our presence there, prior to last year the united states invested very little in permanent infrastructure in afghanistan. president obama's call on the u.s. military to triple the amount of troops we've had in
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the country since the war started. if the administration expects the military to figure out a way for a rapid increase of troops on the ground, we can figure out how to have a method of rapid withdrawal. getting supplies into afghanistan is one of the biggest obstacles to providing adequate support for troops on the ground due to frequent attackses on u.s. convoys traveling to -- attacks on u.s. convoys traveling to afghanistan to deliver most of the supplies by air. now, madam speaker, we have in the last three hours talked about 1,000-troop casualties, we've talked about a cost of a quart of a $1 trillion and rising, we've spoken of civilian casualties and about the incredible amount of corruption that's going on in afghanistan. we spoke of the pipeline which is sure to deserve more critical inquiry. and the failure of doctrines of counterinsurgency, that strategy doesn't work. and there are logistics of withdrawal that we can pursue. the question is, should the
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united states people continue to build the burden of this war when we have so many problems at home with 15 million people unemployed, with millions of people losing their homes, with so many people without health care and without being able to send their children to good schools? we have to reset our priorities, our priorities should begin i go betting out of afghanistan and then we can turn to getting out of iraq. thank you very much for this debate. i urge approval of the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 1146 the previous question is ordered. the question is on the adoption of the concurrent resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the concurrent resolution -- the noes have it, the concurrent resolution is not -- the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: on that i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman requests the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested.
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those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. memembers will record their vot by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the -- this 15-minute vote on adopion of house concurrent resolution 248 will be followed by five-minute votes on the motion to suspend the rules on house concurrent resolution 249 and house resolution 1144. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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