In the wake of September 11th Rep. Eshoo supported military action to find and capture those responsible for the attack on the U.S., and to disrupt and dismantle the network of support they received from the Taliban regime. On September 14, 2001, Rep. Eshoo joined a nearly unanimous group of House Members in voting to pass the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Terrorists Resolution. The terrorist attacks struck an unprecedented blow to our homeland, and Rep. Eshoo believes now, as she did then, that military action to find and eliminate those responsible was justified.
In the years following the authorization of force, the Bush Administration directed its full attention to the invasion of Iraq, which she voted against. We missed important opportunities in Afghanistan to capture key terrorists, allowed the country’s political situation to deteriorate, and massively misdirected our resources to the war in Iraq which did not advance our national security objectives.
When President Obama announced his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, Rep. Eshoo expressed her lack of confidence in an open-ended involvement in Afghanistan being productive in achieving real, long-term stability for that country. U.S. support of Hamid Karzai has actually proved divisive and often counterproductive with many of the country’s rival groups. The Karzai government’s efforts in combating corruption, graft, and systemic failures that erode public confidence in the regime’s basic legitimacy have also been woefully inadequate.
The United States and its partner countries are reducing military involvement in Afghanistan as Afghan security forces assume lead security responsibility throughout the country. The current international security mission will terminate at the end of 2014. While Rep. Eshoo remains concerned about stability in the country after U.S. troops leave, she believes that the next Afghan election, scheduled for April, 2014 will be an important one for the country.
As an eight-year veteran of the House Intelligence Committee from to 2002 to 2010, Rep. Eshoo knows that to fight the dangers posed by terrorists effectively, we must confront them intelligently. Her previous efforts in this area include:
- Cosponsorship of H.R. 1735, the Afghanistan Exit and Accountability Act of 2011. The legislation required the President to define a concrete timeline for troop redeployment. It also required the President to enumerate in detail how and when U.S. military operations will be transferred to Afghan authorities.
- Rep. Eshoo voted for the Lee Amendment to the 2011 Defense Appropriations bill on July 7, 2011, to end funding for the war.
- Rep. Eshoo voted for the bipartisan McGovern Amendment on June 2, 2011, to require an accelerated timeline for withdrawal of our troops.
- In the 111th Congress, Rep. Eshoo was a cosponsor of H.R. 4130, the Share the Sacrifice Act, which required the establishment of a temporary surtax to fund the ongoing costs of the Afghanistan war. It exempted our troops, their families, and the families of 9/11 victims. She believes that our troops and their families have been asked to absorb too much of the cost of the war in Afghanistan. If the war is worth fighting, it should be worth paying for.