Over the past several weeks, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has held a series of conversations on the U.S war in Afghanistan. The series–titled “Afghanistan: A Road Map for Progress”–explored the U.S. war, its relationship to Pakistan, and its implication for U.S. security.
Out of the talk came a number of policy recommendations. These are important as the Congress will be considering a $94 billion dollar request for more funding for the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus makes the following recommendations:
- Require the immediate cessation of U.S. drone attacks.
- Require UN involvement in overseeing and mandating the role of US and international military operations. Require that any increase in US troop presence is oriented towards training and support roles for Afghan security forces and not for US-led counter insurgency efforts.
- Call for an immediate cession of US drone attacks and air strikes [in Pakistan] as they only incite further extremism.
- Require all aid dollars to have a majority percentage of dollars tied or guaranteed to local Afghan institutions and organizations.
- Require 80-20 ratio (political-military) with all future US funding, with a special inspector general to monitor the implementation of this ratio.
- Fund the National Solidarity Program. According to the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the NSP requires another US $200 million to complete 20,000 small projects in the coming five months.
There were also additional recommendations on reforming elections and protecting women’s rights.
To be sure, it is refreshing to see members of Congress casting a critical light on the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, but it would have been nice to see more. Why no opposition to the escalation of the war? Why no recommendation that the U.S. adopt a timetable for Afghanistan–or better yet–commit to immediately withdrawing troops?