Merkley Statement on Afghanistan and Syria Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Senate voted on an amendment related to the U.S.’s military presence in Afghanistan and Syria:

“The President’s decision-making process about troop levels in Afghanistan and Syria has been reckless and wildly inconsistent—but that doesn’t mean that the right answer is for U.S. troops to stay deployed overseas indefinitely. We need a path to end the forever war in Afghanistan.  And in any military deployment, there needs to be a time to fully consider whether circumstances merit ending the deployment and bringing our troops home.

“It’s unacceptable that Congress continues to shirk its constitutional duty and avoid a formal debate on whether our troops should continue to be deployed overseas. The current deployments are based on an 18-year-old Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)—an authorization that was passed under very different circumstances, and which never mentions ISIS or Syria. That is why I introduced a new AUMF last year, and I will keep pushing for Congress to do its job and vote on whether we should continue sending our sons and daughters into harms’ way.”