The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a resolution Tuesday afternoon intended to force the removal of all U.S. military forces from Pakistan by the end of the year.
House Concurrent Resolution 301, introduced by Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), calls attention to the troops levels in Pakistan, their duties and the legality of their presence. By invoking the 1973 War Powers Act in the privileged resolution, the duo plan to force a debate and vote on the subject.
Kucinich and Paul argue that the 200 military personnel in Pakistan, some of which are training the Pakistani military in the volatile tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan, were stationed without congressional oversight or approval and must therefore be removed.
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““Look at the history of U.S. military involvement; we became enmeshed in a war against Vietnam with advisers leading the way,” Kucinich said. “Mr. Paul and I are seeking to nip in the bud an expansion of U.S. ground presence in Pakistan.”
Kucinich went on to say that the continuing troop presence would only lead to the destabilizing of the Pakistani government, and is strategically faulty.
“This increasing U.S. military activity has little to do with protecting the United States and in fact is creating more enemies than it is defeating,” he said (https://truthout.org/kucinich-says-white-house-abused-its-power-wants-forces-out-pakistan61651), noting that the uptick comes “at a time when there are, according to the CIA, very few al-Qaeda members in that country.”
He also noted that the leaked Afghan war documents strengthened the case for Resolution 301.
“These reports not only provide further evidence that our presence in Afghanistan is counterproductive, but they also support long held suspicions that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence Agency is providing support for the Taliban insurgents,” he said, “even as the U.S. provides Pakistan with more than $1 billion in aid a year and is expanding its footprint on the ground within Pakistan’s borders.
Kucinich said that legislators learned about the growth in U.S. troops in Pakistan not in the legislature but from an article in The Wall Street Journal, which reported American troops’ deepening role in the effort to defeat Islamist militants in Pakistani territory, previously off limits to U.S. ground troops.
The U.S. has come under fire for drone strikes targeting militants in the tribal areas which aid the Pakistani army’s campaign against the militants, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Congressional leaders were reluctant to enter into a debate on the U.S. presence in Pakistan, but the introduction of the privileged resolution allowed Kucinich and Paul to force the attention of the House onto the issue.