Win Without War Applauds Senate Passage of Merkley-Paul Amendment on Afghanistan

“Today the United States Senate sent a clear message that Congress agrees with the American public, it’s time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan,” said Stephen Miles, Coalition Coordinator of Win Without War. “This vote is particularly important given widespread reports that the Pentagon is pressing for a halt to any further drawdowns and hoping to keep tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. Today’s vote serves a reminder to the President to fulfill his promise to continue drawdowns at a ‘steady pace’ and bring our troops home.”

In a strong, bipartisan vote, the Senate adopted an amendment to the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY). The amendment stated support for an accelerated transition and drawdown in Afghanistan and comes at a critical time as the Administration debates the pace and size of future troop drawdowns in Afghanistan. The overwhelming support of 62 Senators indicates the continued growth of opposition to the war in Afghanistan in Congress mirroring the record number of Americans opposing the war in current public opinion polling. The vote was the first majority vote ever in either the House or the Senate calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, Republican House leadership refused to allow debate and votes on a similar amendment offered to the NDAA by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Watler Jones (R-NC). Thus while the House-passed version of the NDAA contained a provision stating support for a halt to drawdowns, today’s vote by the Senate demonstrates the true sense of Congress that it is time to bring our troops home.

“After more than 11 years in combat, American’s men and women in uniform have done all that they can in Afghanistan and its long past time for them to come home,” added Mr. Miles. “Congress is now in agreement with the overwhelming majority of Americans about Afghanistan. We hope that in the coming days as the White House debates the future of America’s longest war that they listen to this message and bring our troops home.”