Reps. Kim and Meijer introduce bill to create an independent September 11, 2001-style Afghanistan War Commission
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Congressman Peter Meijer (MI-03) introduced the Afghanistan War Commission Act of 2021 to create a non-partisan, independent commission to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the war in Afghanistan. The commission would need to produce a public and unclassified report with actionable recommendations so that the United States can learn from our experience in Afghanistan and be prepared for future conflicts.
“The war in Afghanistan was a state effort that – now complete – requires an independent, state-wide assessment to see what happened. This commission is vital to the future security of our country. ” said Congressman Kim. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan law that will create an independent commission because the national security of our country should not be partisan. I am grateful for Congressman Meijer’s guidance on this matter and hope that this will be turned into law so that our country can have a full, in-depth look at the war in Afghanistan. “
The Afghanistan War Commission Act would require the commission to investigate all aspects of the war, including combat operations, intelligence operations, diplomatic activities and inter-agency coordination. The commission’s investigation would include all relevant US government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the intelligence community, as well as the efforts of our NATO allies.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) presented the accompanying draft in the Senate, which has received bipartisan support. Senator Duckworth and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) also introduced the bill as a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022, which is currently under Senate scrutiny.
“The war in Afghanistan was shaped by four different governments and 11 different congresses – no party should try to get cheap, party-political points from a decades-long failure of nation-building that arose across parties.” said Senator Duckworth. “Congress owes a serious, honest, long-term effort to accountability and transparency to the thousands of American soldiers who have made sacrifices in Afghanistan. I am delighted that MPs Kim and Meijer are taking the lead on my proposal in the House of Representatives so that we can set up an independent, non-partisan commission to ensure that we get out of the mistakes we have made in Afghanistan for more than 20 years , learn and reform to ensure these mistakes never happen repeatedly. “
“During my years of work on site in Afghanistan, I have seen successes and failures in the fight against terrorism. To learn from both our mistakes and our successes in this conflict, it is critical that we take a full view of all combat operations and strategic decisions from the 9/11 attacks to the disastrous withdrawal of the Biden administration. Our bill to set up a bipartisan, independent commission will ensure that the lessons of this 20-year war are absorbed and implemented in the future. ” said Congressman Meijer.
“The American people deserve an honest examination of the decision-making that led to 20 years of failed foreign policy in Afghanistan. It is of the utmost importance that we not ignore the teachings that led to our nation’s longest war – one that spanned four governments, both parties and numerous conventions. We commend Rep. Kim and Rep. Meijer, both of whom have seen firsthand the failure of US policy in Afghanistan, for their leadership and call on their colleagues in the House to support these common sense efforts. ” said Russ Duerstine, associate director of Concerned Veterans for America.
The bill is approved by Affected Veterans For America, VoteVets, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Prior to his service in the House of Representatives, Congressman Kim served in Afghanistan as civil adviser to the four-star US Strategic Commander at the height of the war in Afghanistan. He also served with USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House National Security Council.
Congressman Kim serves on the House Armed Services Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and House Committee on Small Business. For more information on Congressman Kim, visit his website at click here.
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