Reps. Kim, Meijer Introduce Bill to Create An Independent, 9/11-Style Afghanistan War Commission

Reps. Kim, Meijer Introduce Bill to Create An Independent, 9/11-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 that would conduct a comprehensive examination of the War in Afghanistan. The commission would be required to produce a public and unclassified report with actionable recommendations so the United States learns from our experience in Afghanistan and is prepared for future conflicts.

 

“The war in Afghanistan was a whole-of-government effort that – now concluded – demands an independent, whole-of-government assessment in order to learn what happened. This commission is essential to the future safety and security of our country,” said Congressman Kim. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan piece of legislation that will create an independent commission because our country’s national security should not be partisan. I’m grateful for Congressman Meijer’s leadership on this issue and hope this is passed into law so that our country can do a comprehensive deep dive into the War in Afghanistan.”

 

The Afghanistan War Commission Act would require the commission to examine all aspects of the war, including combat operations, intelligence actions, diplomatic activities, and interagency coordination. The commission’s investigation would span all relevant U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the Intelligence Community, as well as the efforts of our NATO allies.

 

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the companion bill in the Senate, which has earned bipartisan support. Senator Duckworth and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) have also introduced the legislation as a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 currently under consideration in the Senate.

 

“The War in Afghanistan was shaped by four different administrations and 11 different Congresses—no party should be looking to score cheap, partisan political points off a decades-long nation-building failure that was bipartisan in the making,” said Senator Duckworth. “Congress owes the thousands of American servicemembers who sacrificed in Afghanistan a serious, honest and long-term effort devoted to bringing accountability and transparency. I’m glad that Representatives Kim and Meijer are taking the lead on my proposal in the House so we can create an independent, nonpartisan commission aimed at ensuring we learn from mistakes made over 20 years in Afghanistan and implement reforms to ensure those mistakes are never repeated.”

 

“During my years of work on the ground in Afghanistan, I saw instances of success and failure in the fight against terror. To learn both from our mistakes and our achievements in that conflict, it is critical that we take a comprehensive look at all combat operations and strategic decisions, from the September 11 attacks to the Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal. Our bill to establish a nonpartisan, independent commission will ensure the lessons of this 20-year war are absorbed and applied moving forward,” 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 paramount we do not ignore the lessons that led to our nation’s longest war — one that spanned four administrations, both parties, and numerous sessions of Congress. We commend Rep. Kim and Rep. Meijer, who both witnessed failures of U.S. policy in Afghanistan first-hand, on their leadership, and urge their colleagues in the House to support this commonsense effort,” said Russ Duerstine, Deputy Director of Concerned Veterans for America.

 

The bill is endorsed by Concerned Veterans for America, VoteVets, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

 

The full text of the bill can be found here, and a one-page summary can be found here.

 

Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Congressman Kim served in Afghanistan as a civilian advisor to the four-star U.S. Strategic Commander at the height of the War in Afghanistan. He also served at USAID, the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House National Security Council.

 

Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Committee on Small Business. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.

 

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