Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), a U.S. Army veteran who fought in Afghanistan, said he disagreed with fellow New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was a mistake.
Ocasio-Cortez suggested on Twitter on Monday that the invasion was a mistake.
She tweeted on Monday: “I remember a time when it was ‘unacceptable’ to question the Iraq War. All of Congress was wrong, including both GOP & Dem Party, and led my generation into a disastrous + wrong war that virtually all would come to regret, except for the one member who stood up: Barbara Lee.”
Then, realizing that Lee opposed the Afghanistan War, she tried to correct her tweet by saying she meant the Afghanistan War.
She quickly added, “(But honestly we shouldn’t have been in either, and we should end the AUMF now while we’re at it).”
(But honestly we shouldn’t have been in either, and we should end the AUMF now while we’re at it)
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2019
The invasion of Afghanistan came after al-Qaeda terrorists, using their safe haven in Afghanistan, plotted a terrorist attack against the United States in 2001 that killed more than 2,900 people, including 2,606 in New York on September 11, 2001.
The New York Daily News queried the entire New York delegation, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), on whether they agreed with Ocasio-Cortez.
The only member who responded was Rose, who actually fought in Afghanistan.
He agreed with Ocasio-Cortez that U.S. forces need to come home but said sending them was not a mistake.
“I believe it’s long past time we end the war in Afghanistan, but I strongly disagree with the idea that the invasion was wrong on moral or national security grounds,” said Rose.
Rose was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star after serving as a combat infantry officer in Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013.
“After our city and country were attacked we were very clear with the Taliban – either they give up Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, or we would come and get them ourselves,” he told the Daily News. “They chose to protect Osama bin Laden, and they rightfully paid the price.”
When asked later by CNN’s Jake Tapper to clarify what she thought should have been done, Ocasio-Cortez gave vague answers.
“I think that our decision to enter unlimited engagement in Afghanistan, particularly through the AUMF + Congress’ abdication of power + decision-making w/ passage of the AUMF, was a mistake,” she responded. “Other options: targeting the network itself, limited engagement, non-intervention.”
New York Daily News noted that the first two options she offered “were to at least some degree already being deployed against Osama bin Laden and his network.”
When she was challenged on not intervening, she responded that she did not mean not doing anything and, again, offered vague ideas.
“It means not invading an entire nation without end,” she tweeted. “Doesn’t mean ‘do nothing,’ it means perhaps we could have leaned more on the larger role of other agencies (intelligence, state dept, diplomatic teams, etc) before Congress decided to invade a nation without a concrete end plan.”
Congress voted on the 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) to invade Afghanistan just three days after the attack, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The AUMF is still being relied upon for the 14,000 troop presence in Afghanistan today, for a train-and-advise mission as well as a counterterrorism mission.
President Donald Trump has pledged to bring home troops and end the war, and the Trump administration has stepped up diplomatic efforts to do so.